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On Twitter, Guy A. Lepage commented on a case in which a mother was found guilty of offering her daughter to her spouse as a sex toy, un jouet sexuel.

Lepage called the woman a colice de conne on Twitter.

What does this mean?

Here’s what the tweet says:

Colice de conne ! Prison longtemps please Une mère offre sa fille comme jouet sexuel à son conjoint via

If you guessed that Guy A. Lepage is insulting the mother, you’d be right! Here’s how it might read if it had been written in English:

Fucking idiot! Long prison sentence, please. A mother offers her daughter as a sex toy to her spouse.

Calling a man un con or a woman une conne is an insult in French.

The masculine word con in French is vulgar. Its English equivalent is cunt. In fact, con (French), cunt (English) and coño (Spanish) are all etymologically related.

When con or conne is used to insult someone, it becomes an offensive way of calling someone an idiot.

Interestingly, we read this about the usage of con and conne in Québec on Wikipedia:

Con et conne existent aussi au Québec et sont fréquemment utilisés, mais n’ont été adoptés que dans la deuxième moitié du 20esiècle, sous l’influence des films français. Ce terme argotique nous était inconnu avant la deuxième guerre mondiale.

Con and conne also exist in Québec and are frequently used, but they weren’t adopted until the second half of the 20th century, influenced by French films. This slang term was not used in Québec before the Second World War.

On that Wikipedia page, con and conne were given as synonyms of épais and épaisse, which are frequently used in Québec in the sense of “idiot.”

What about colice?

We’ve seen this before on OffQc but more often spelled on the blog as câlice and câlisse. In colice de conne, the colice de part means “fucking.”

colice de conne, fucking idiot
colice de cave, fucking idiot
colice de marde, fucking shit
ma câlisse de job, my fucking job
une câlice de bonne idée, a fucking good idea
un câlisse de chien sale, a fucking dirty dog

Be sure to listen to Laurent Paquin’s Chant sacré, where you’ll hear all kinds of Québécois swear words in a very short song.

You can follow Guy A. Lepage on Twitter here.

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In the comments section of a Facebook post, users left insulting comments about a young man who appeared in a video that went viral.

The contents of the video aren’t important… but the insulting comments in French might be of interest to you.

Here are some of the insults the man earned.

beau cave
total idiot

c’t’un malade
he’s crazy

pas fort!
lame, fail, pathetic

champion des épais
champion of the idiots

colon
idiot

Some people insulted other commenters with:

gang de caves
bunch of idiots, shitheads…

bande de cons
bunch of idiots, shitheads…

Lots of words for “idiot” in these comments:

un cave
un épais
un colon
un con

Colon is a settler, a peasant.

Pas fort is used in the same sense as “fail.” If someone did something stupid, attention might be called to it by saying pas fort to shame the person.

— William a vomi sur sa blonde.
— Pas fort.

— William threw up on his girlfriend.
— Fail.

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I’m always on the lookout for good sources of vocab and expressions for you to learn, and I’ve found a pretty good one for learning how people complain and insult others in French:

Comments that appear on paid ads in your Facebook feed.

The bigger the company, the more likely you are to find complaints and juicy insults, either directed at the company itself or other commenters. The comments are also very good for learning all kinds of useful French vocab and expressions in general.

For example, if you want to know how people complain in French about coffee that tastes like dirty dishwater, check out the comments on a Tim Hortons ad.

If you want to know how people accuse a restaurant of serving fake meat, then take a peek at the comments on an ad from McDonalds. You won’t be disappointed.

There’s an ad that’s been appearing in my Facebook feed for many weeks now. The company isn’t a big one — it’s from a butcher located south of Montréal — so a lot of the comments on it are a little more tame compared to the ones on, say, an ad from Tim Hortons.

The guy’s been advertising that he’s got a lot of steaks to get rid of because of an ordering error made by a client. To sell the steaks as fast as possible, he explains in his ad that he’s selling them with no mark-up in price just to break even.

The comments on his advert range from praise over the quality of the meat to accusations that he’s a scammer just looking to sell more steaks with a bogus story.

Many commenters wanted to know practical information, like what time he opens and if he delivers:

Faites-vous la livraison?
Do you deliver?

À quelle heure vous ouvrez?
What time do you open?

À quelle heure ouvrez-vous aujourd’hui?
What time do you open today?

One commenter said that when the ads first started appearing on Facebook, he was interested in buying some of the steaks. But now that the ad has been running for so long, he smells a scam:

Ça me tentait au début, mais ça commence à sentir le scam. Désolé, je passe.

I was interested at first, but this is starting to smell like a scam. Sorry, I’ll take a pass.

The standard word for scam in French is une arnaque. The commenter could have also written ça commence à sentir l’arnaque.

The person who does the scamming is called un arnaqueur. The next commenter used the word arnaqueur when he said that people were getting the impression the butcher was a scammer because of how long the ad and his sob story have been running:

Tu devrais arrêter cette annonce payée, elle te nuit. Regarde les commentaires des gens. Ils n’apprécient pas ton genre de pub sur Facebook. Tu passes pour un arnaqueur.

You should end this paid advertisement; it’s hurting you [i.e., your reputation]. Look at people’s comments. They don’t appreciate this kind of ad on Facebook. You come across as a scammer.

The word for advertisement in French is une publicité, but you’ll often come across the informally shortened form une pub. It’s similar to how “advertisement” in English shortens to “ad” and “advert” more informally.

The commenter also used the expression passer pour un arnaqueur. He said: tu passes pour un arnaqueur (you come across as a scammer). You can replace un arnaqueur with other nouns, for example: tu passes pour un con (you come across as a shithead).

And, in fact, our next commenter used the noun con when he came to the butcher’s defence by attacking other commenters:

Le monde est chiâleux, arrêtez de chiâler comme d’habitude. Bande de cons.

Everybody keeps complaining; stop complaining all the time. Bunch of shitheads.

Chiâler in Québec — we’ve seen it before, like here in entry #808 — means “to complain.” And someone who does the complaining can be described as chiâleux. Other ways to translate con in the sense used in the comment include: idiot, moron, ass, dickhead.

Those Facebook ads can be annoying, but if you change your perspective and see them as a language-learning opportunity, you might find you don’t mind them as much… or at least I don’t — they give me ideas for OffQc!

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Here’s some more conversational Quebec French from the TV series Les Parent. If you have the possibility to watch it on television (on Radio-Canada) or on tou.tv, I recommend it. You can also check for it on DVD.

***

Natalie asks her teenaged son Thomas how his friend Félix is. Thomas tells his mother that he hasn’t seen him. He also tells her that he doesn’t hang around with that group of friends anymore:

Je me tiens plus avec cette gang-là.
I don’t hang around with those guys anymore.

Plus is pronounced plu is this example. (In full, it would be je ne me tiens plus…, but Thomas left the ne off.)

***

Olivier tells his younger brother Zak that he’s such an idiot:

T’es ben con!
You’re such an idiot!

***

Olivier explains to his parents why he got into a fight with another boy. It’s because the other boy was picking on his younger brother Zak and his friend:

Y’était en train d’écoeurer Zak pis son ami.
He was picking on Zak and his friend.

He also tells his parents that the other boy was going to hit Zak:

Y’allait fesser sur Zak!
He was gonna hit Zak!

Écoeurer isn’t as hard to pronounce as it looks. It’s just ékeuré.

[Quotes from Les Parent, “Fréquentations douteuses,” season 4, episode 4, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 3 October 2011.]

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