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Posts Tagged ‘chien’

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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A park for dogs to run around in (and their owners to cruise each other) in Montréal

A park for dogs to run around in (and their owners to cruise each other) in Montréal

We’ve seen the expression avoir la chienne before, but let’s review it. I was reminded of this expression while reading a text written by Véronique Grenier on Urbania called “Rides de char.”

J’ai la chienne!

Chienne is the feminine form of chien. When you’ve got the chienne, you’re terrified or frightened.

J’ai la chienne.
I’m terrified.

J’ai la chienne de faire ça.
I’m terrified of doing that.

J’avais la chienne.
I was terrified.

J’ai eu la chienne de ma vie!
I got the fright of my life!

While on the topic of having the chienne, now’s a good time to look at the difference between j’avais peur and j’ai eu peur.

J’ai eu peur is used to describe getting scared at a specific moment. J’avais peur is used to describe being scared over time.

J’avais peur.
I was scared.
(all morning, this afternoon, while watching a movie…)

J’ai eu peur.
I got scared.
(when I saw him, when that happened…)

The same distinction exists for avoir faim.

J’avais faim.
I was hungry.
(this morning, all night, during class…)

J’ai eu faim.
I got hungry.
(when I saw the cake, when I smelled the pizza…)

Going back to the original expression in this post, j’avais la chienne is used to talk about being terrified over time. In the example j’ai eu la chienne de ma vie, the speaker got the fright of his or her life at a specific moment when something happened.

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You pig. Only a peasant says “mourir.” The correct verb is “trépasser.”

OffQc supports you fully in your quest to learn French. But, hey, let’s be honest — learning French isn’t for everybody.

If you enjoy living a life free of complexes, French is most likely not for you.

French is probably the only language in the world where the vast majority of its speakers consider practically everything said in the language to be incorrect.

You thought you could use the basic verb mourir in France? How innocent of you.

No matter what word you choose to say in any language situation, there will always be a French person only too pleased to scold you:

You pig. Only a peasant says mourir. The correct verb is trépasser. One must demonstrate respect for the French people by speaking our language beautifully. One does not callously say mon chien est mort. One must say mon canidé domestique trépassa.

What, you thought things were better in Québec?

Oh, sure, the Québécois are proud to not be a bunch of square-head anglos, but this doesn’t stop them from sweeping up their language and pushing it under the rug. Remember the expression fucker le chien, the one that the Québécois sometimes use to describe having difficulty doing something?

If you use the expression fucker le chien in Québec, your interlocutor will smile and feel flattered that you used an expression from Québec. Ultimately, however, the linguistic complex written into the DNA of every single Québécois will kick in:

Where did you learn to say that? That’s so funny. Well, it’s true that the Québécois say fucker le chien, but it’s not correct. You should say posséder sexuellement, not fucker. The word chien isn’t really correct either, tsé. You should say canidé domestique. The correct way to say the expression isn’t fucker le chien, but posséder sexuellement le canidé domestique. That’s how they say it in France. You shouldn’t speak bad like us, tsé.

If you suffer from a complex when you speak French, congratulations! You probably speak French rather well.

If you’re still free of any complex when you speak French, you’re most likely new to the language. Welcome, friend.

If you’re somewhere in the middle in the sense that you’ve not yet developed a fully fledged complex but still acknowledge there may be truth to this — and you’re going to press on in French anyway — OffQc salutes you, brave soldier.

If you’re undecided about learning French and none of this sounds terribly appealing, do yourself a favour and learn Spanish instead.

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I saw a sign today using the verb se ramasser here in Montréal, so let’s review this verb. First things first: pronunciation.

The verb ramasser is pronounced ramâsser. That â sound in there comes close to how “aww” sounds in English. It’s only the second a that’s pronounced “aww,” not the first one.

You may remember that ramasser was included in this list of 50 words using the â sound in Québec but not written with the accented â.

Ramassez!

Ramassez!

In entry #664, we saw a little sign on a tree that told dog owners to pick up their dog crap from the street. The sign says:

Ramassez, câlisse!
Pick it up, for fuck’s sake!

OK, no, it doesn’t. It just says ramassez! They’re much more polite than me.

In entry #437, the mother in the television show Les Parent is tired of her sons’ messiness.

She uses the verb se ramasser when she says:

Ce que je vous dis souvent aussi c’est de ranger pis de vous ramasser.
What I often also tell you is to tidy up and to pick up after yourselves.

Ranger means “to tidy up.” But se ramasser is “to pick up after oneself.”

If you heard a parent say ramasse-toi to a child, the parent has said “pick up after yourself.”

On se ramasse tous ensemble

The sign that I saw today in Montréal encourages residents of the city to come together and clean up after ourselves in public places (streets, sidewalks, alleys, etc.). The sign says:

On se ramasse tous ensemble
Let’s pick up after ourselves all together

The sign says that we can sign up for the corvée. Une corvée is work carried out in public. The work is voluntary. In the case of this corvée in particular, we’re dealing with une corvée de propreté where residents come together to clean up.

If you live in Montréal, you know that the streets here look pretty nasty after all the snow has melted away in the spring…

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In entry #753, we saw six different expressions used in Québec containing the words chien or chienne.

One of the expressions we saw in that entry was avoir du chien. Here’s what you read in that post about this expression:

If you’ve “got dog,” it’s because you’re determined. You’ve got personality. You’re a go-getter.

Ces deux jeunes-là ont du chien et réalisent de grandes choses.
Those two young people are go-getters and are doing big things.

Elle a du talent et du chien.
She’s got talent and determination.

In the comments section, RogerDog commented that he had seen a sign in Montréal promoting the comedy M. Peabody et Sherman, and that the expression avoir du chien was used on it.

I came across the sign too, so I took a photo. It says:

Une comédie qui a du chien

The expression works well here because one of the characters is a dog.

There are probably different ways to translate this, but if we want to hint at dogs, maybe we can say:

Une comédie qui a du chien
A comedy with bite

I wonder what the English version really says outside of Québec. Has anybody seen a poster for it?

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By the way, the expression avoir du chien means something different in France. The site linternaute.com defines the French use of avoir du chien as meaning “to be beautiful,” when speaking of a woman.

But it goes on to say that a woman qui a du chien is more than just belle; she also has ce petit truc en plus that makes her completely irresistible.

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