Posts Tagged ‘bug’

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:

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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An orange bug parked in Montréal

An orange bug parked in Montréal

1. Ton p’tit nom, c’est quoi?

What’s your name?

Someone I had just met turned the conversation to our names. He asked what my name was with: ton p’tit nom, c’est quoi? Your petit nom is your first name.

2. Celui-là est malade!

That one’s amazing!

In a shopping centre, there was a display of famous structures made entirely of Mega Bloks (Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, Maracanã Stadium, etc.).

A girl passed by, pointed to one of the structures and exclaimed: celui-là est malade! The structure wasn’t ill — it was amazing.

3. Excusez-moi, le centre d’achats ferme à cinq heures?

Excuse me, does the shopping centre close at five?

A woman asked at the information desk of a shopping centre if it would close at five o’clock. Un centre d’achats is a shopping centre.

4. Tu comptes rester là jusqu’à quelle heure?

What time do you think you’ll be there until?

A guy in his 20s talking on his mobile phone asked this of the person he was speaking with.

5. C’est la vie

If you haven’t already discovered C’est la vie from the CBC, take a look (or, more accurately, a listen). C’est la vie is an audio programme in English with podcasts related to the culture and French of Québec.

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