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Posts Tagged ‘bibitte’

1. “He’s got bugs in the head.”

Someone with “bugs in the head” is someone who’s messed up in the mind. The expression here is avoir des bibittes dans la tête, which means to be messed up in the head, but translates literally as to have bugs in one’s head. Our too-literally-translated-into-English example he’s got bugs in his head is said in French as y’a des bibittes dans’ tête, where y’a and dans’ are colloquial contractions: y’a comes from il a, and dans’ comes from dans la.

Y’a des bibittes dans’ tête.
He’s messed up in the head.
Much too literally: “He’s got bugs in the head.”

2. “He’s in a real tabernacle.”

If you’re in a tabernacle — or better, in a real tabernacle — you’re royally pissed off. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get y’est en beau tabarnak. Y’est en sounds like yé t’en, which is a contraction of il est en. The expression here is être en tabarnak, with its variation être en beau tabarnak, both of which mean to be pissed off.

Joking aside, make sure you learn the difference between tabernacle and tabarnak. Tabernacle (with an e in the middle and le on the end) means tabernacle, an item associated with Catholicism. Tabarnak (with an a in the middle and k [or c] on the end) is a swear word deriving from tabernacle. The Québécois never say tabernacle to swear (the swear words are tabarnak or tabarnac) and never refer to the tabernacle as a tabarnak!

So, although, the English above reads much too literally as he’s in a real tabernacle, the Québécois aren’t really saying the equivalent of tabernacle when they use this expression, but a vulgar variant of it.

Y’est en beau tabarnak.
He’s totally pissed off.
Much too literally: “He’s in a real tabernacle.”

3. “He put the music in the rug.”

If the music is on so loud that the floor practically shakes, you can say the music is “in the rug.” Mettre la musique dans le tapis means to put the music on full blast. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get y’a mis la musique dans l’tapis. There’s y’a again, which we saw in number 1; it’s a colloquial contraction of il a.

Y’a mis la musique dans l’tapis.
He put the music on full blast.
Much too literally: “He put the music in the rug.”

4. “Your dog is dead.”

If you no longer stand a chance at something, your dog’s snuffed it. That girl you wanted to go out with but who’s going out with someone new now (and it isn’t you)? Yeah, your dog’s dead. You can forget about it. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get ton chien est mort. You can also say, depending on the context, mon chien est mort, son chien est mort, etc.

Ton chien est mort.
You can forget about it. You’ve lost your chance.
Much too literally: “Your dog is dead.”

5. “He’s gonna get himself christed out.”

If you’ve just been christed out at work, you just got your ass fired. Crisser quelqu’un dehors, you’ll remember, means to kick someone the hell out, to fire someone’s ass, etc. We looked at the expression crisser dehors here recently. The verb crisser in this sense derives from Christ, so this verb is a swear word. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get y va se faire crisser dehors, which means he’s gonna get his ass fired, he’s gonna get the fucking sack, etc. Y here is a colloquial pronunciation of il, which contracts to i’ in spoken language.

Y va se faire crisser dehors.
He’s gonna get his ass fired.
Much too literally: “He’s gonna get himself christed out.”

Bonus: “Dechrist!”

This is our much-too-literal way of saying décrisse!, meaning fuck off! We looked at the verb décrisser in the same post linked to above in number 5.

Décrisse!
Fuck off! Piss off!
Much too literally: “Dechrist!”

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I came across this sign in a Montréal métro station:

Les petites bibittes ne mangent pas les grosses!

The sign is from Montréal’s Insectarium, which is an insect museum.

Une bibitte — maybe you’ll remember — is an informal word used in Québécois French meaning bug.

So what does the wording on the sign mean?

It means little bugs don’t eat big bugs. In other words, you don’t need to be afraid of bugs because you’re a big bibitte. 🙂

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cochon d’Inde

And here you thought I totally forgot about part 2 of our mini-series about the Québécois French word bibitte

Actually, you’re right — I did forget. So let’s look at part 2 right now before I forget again!

In part 1, we saw that bibitte can be used to talk about bugs in Québecois French. If you haven’t read part 1, you can read it now and come back.

In part 1, we saw this example:

J’haïs ça les bibittes!
I hate bugs!

Now here’s part 2. Below are examples pulled from the wonderful world of the world-wide web. (I’ve made minor changes for simplicity.)

In a forum online where users discussed the animal they most feared, one commenter said:

Je truste pas les lapins. J’aime vraiment pas ça pantoute. Les cochons d’Inde pis toutes ces bibittes-là aussi.

I don’t trust rabbits. I really don’t like them one bit. Same goes for guinea pigs and all those kinds of critters.

Not only does the commenter dislike those bibittes, he doesn’t even trust them, il les « truste » pas (from the informal borrowed-from-English verb truster, which sounds like troster).

On a different site, a blog author had this to say about chickens:

Même si les poulets sont assez sédentaires, ça vole ces bibittes-là!

Even if chickens mostly just sit around all the time, those creatures can fly!

OK, so we’ve got one person who used bibitte to talk about rabbits and guinea pigs, and another who used it to talk about chickens. Let’s keep going.

This next blog author talks about the time she and her boyfriend made a discovery in the trunk of their old Buick 77 left parked in a barn:

Rendu chez ses parents à Thetford, il ouvre son coffre… ça couinait! Mon chum qui déteste ces bibittes-là, je prends des gants et commence la fouille […].

Once he got to his parents place in Thetford, he opened the trunk… something was squealing in it! My boyfriend hates those kinds of critters, so I grabbed some gloves and began searching (in the trunk).

The author goes on to explain that she found four squealing baby mice in the trunk of the car.

The author called the trunk le coffre. You’ll also hear francophones in Québec call the trunk of a car la valise.

There’s also a Wiktionnaire entry dedicated to bibitte. An example there reads:

— Viens-tu, on va aller voir les serpents!
— Ouh! Non, j’aime pas tellement ça, moi, ces bibittes-là.

— Come on, let’s go see the snakes!
— Ooh no, I don’t really like those things.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, mice, snakes… What does the Usito dictionary from Québec make of all this?

In entry number 2 under bibitte, it says:

BIBITE ou BIBITTE, n.f.
2. Petite bête, souvent sauvage.

“A small creature, often wild.”

So now you can add this second use to your knowledge of the word bibitte:

2. Critters (and other beasts), often wild, often small and furry… but not always!

1. Bugs!

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In the last post I said we’d take a look at the word une bibitte in an entry of its own — but I think we’ll do it as a mini-series instead. Here’s part 1.

Before all else, know that this word has spelling and pronunciation variants, like bibitte, bibite, bébitte, bébite. In quotes, I’ll use whatever variant the author used, and bibitte everywhere else.

J’haïs ça les bibittes… Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

1. Bugs!

The first thing to know about the feminine word bibitte is that it can be used to talk about bugs.

Here’s what a blog author had to say:

C’est le retour du beau temps, tout le monde s’en est aperçu. Mais qu’est-ce qui va de pair (malheureusement) avec l’été? Les *?&%$ de bibittes sales. Pis moi, j’haïs ça les bibittes, bon. Pas les moustiques ou les mouches noires. Nenon. Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

The nice weather is back, as everybody’s noticed. But (unfortunately) what comes with summer? Those *?&%$ nasty bugs. And me, I so hate bugs. Not mosquitos and black flies. No, no. I’m talking about those really long ugly-as-all-fuck insects.

In fact, there might be even more than just bibitte in that quote that’s new to you, like:

pis moi, and as for me
j’haïs ça, I hate that (j’haïs sounds like ja-i)
j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs
nenon, no no
longs de même = longs comme ça (imagine the author indicating the size of the bugs with her fingers and saying “this long,” longs de même)
laite, ugly (informal pronunciation of laid)
laite en tabarnak, fucking ugly

We can understand the *?&%$ in les *?&%$ de bibittes sales to stand for a swear word, like esti. So les esti de bibittes sales means fucking nasty bugs.

OK, so that’s the first usage of bibitte. If you want to remember just one thing from the quote, then remember this: j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs. Why is that ça in there? Just ‘cos, ok! J’haïs ça les abeilles. J’haïs ça les dentistes. J’haïs ça les arbres. Whatever! Don’t forget: j’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

Continue on to part 2.

Image credit: Espace pour la vie

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A good expression to learn is arrête donc de. With this expression, you can tell people to stop doing whatever it is that’s bothering you.

Google is our friend again. I typed arrête donc de to find 10 things that people want others to stop doing.

Donc is pronounced don here. I’ll use the spelling don’ to help you remember.

I’ve translated arrête don’ de in the examples as “stop (doing whatever)” and “stop (doing whatever), will you.”

Arrête don’ de chiâler contre les chiâleux.
Stop complaining about people who complain.

T’aimes pas ça te faire gosser?
Ben arrête don’ de gosser les autres.
You don’t like to be bugged?
Well stop bugging others then.

Arrête don’ de faire ta moumoune.
Stop acting like a sissy, will you.

Arrête don’ de capoter pour rien.
Stop freaking out for nothing.

Arrête don’ de dire des niaiseries.
Stop saying such stupid things, will you.
Stop talking nonsense, will you.

Arrête don’ de blâmer les joueurs.
Stop blaming the players.

Arrête don’ de péter d’la broue.
Stop showing off. (Péter sounds like pèté.)

Don’t forget the form arrêtez donc de, of course. This one can be used when speaking to more than one person.

Arrêtez don’ de bitcher sur les posts des autres!
Stop bitching on other people’s posts!

Arrêtez don’ de niaiser, c’est sérieux tout ça.
Stop messing around, this is serious stuff.

Arrêtez don’ de chercher des bibittes partout!
Stop finding fault with everything!
Stop looking for problems everywhere!

I’ll end with this note about the word une bibitte: it means “bug” (insect). So the last example literally means “stop looking for bugs everywhere.” This word is also said as une bébitte. We’ll look more closely at how this word is used in another entry.

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