Posts Tagged ‘couler’


In this La Presse article about the use of coupons at Maxi (a supermarket in Québec), we learn that une couponneuse is an avid coupon collector and user.

According to the article (16 June 2013), the majority of couponneuses are women between the ages of 25 and 45:

[…] les accros des coupons, qu’on appelle familièrement les couponneuses (majoritairement des femmes de 25 à 45 ans).


After writing about the expression être s’a coche, Eva commented that she knew another expression from Québec using the word coche: péter une coche.

This expression means to get angry and “blow a fuse” or “lose it.” Here’s an example of this expression pulled from the Wikébec glossary:

Y’a pété une coche quand y’a coulé son examen.
= Il a pété une coche quand il a coulé son examen.
He lost it when he flunked his exam.

You may also hear sauter une coche used in the same sense.


You’ve already seen the verb couler from the example above (couler son examen) if you’ve read this entire blog. I’ve used examples of it from TV series like Les Parent, La Galère and 30 vies. The kids in these shows talk about flunking at school using the verb couler.

For example, Olivier in Les Parent said this about his maths teacher:

Y fait couler tout le monde!
He flunks everybody!

[Les Parent, season 4, episode 15, Radio-Canada, Montréal, 6 February 2012]

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Update: tou.tv has removed the video I integrated below from their YouTube channel, but Mike has linked to another copy of it in the comments section.

Now that tou.tv has uploaded some episodes from Quebec TV to YouTube, we can look at entire scenes. Let’s look at a scene from Les Parent, in an episode called “24 heures à la fois,” from season 4.

In the video below, the scene that runs from 1:53 to 3:03 shows three characters — a teenaged boy called Olivier, and his mother and father. They’re in the kitchen.

Olivier’s mother wants to know how his French exam went: Comment ç’a été ton gros examen de français? Olivier gets frustrated by her question, and he wants to know why she’s asking. Her answer is simple: Je m’intéresse à toi.

But then Olivier goes into a rant about how she’s only interested in him when he’s got an exam at school, and how she never wants to know what his vraies aspirations in life are.

When Olivier starts rambling like this, we the viewers know that it’s because he’s up to no good. He’s got some ulterior motive for insisting that his mother take interest in his vraies aspirations, ses envies, ses désirs…

We learn what his motive is when Olivier leaves the kitchen and the father says to his wife: Y’a tellement coulé, là! In other words, “He so flunked (his exam)!” Couler in this sense means to flunk or to fail. So Olivier was trying to divert attention from the fact that he had failed his exam. This is the part of the scene that viewers would find funny; it’s the part that reveals the trickery behind Olivier’s long-winded speech.

The mother agrees completely with her husband. She says: Big time!

This scene runs from 1:53 to 3:03.

Here’s some language to help you understand the scene. It’s not a full transcript, so the challenge is increased a little. Most of the language you need is below, but ignore it if you don’t want the help.

comment ç’a été?, examen de français, comment ça pourquoi?, je m’intéresse à toi, tu t’intéresses à moi, j’sais (ché) pas, c’est à toi de me le dire, c’est sûr, voyons donc, comment ça se fait d’abord que…, mes vraies aspirations, à quoi je rêve dans la vie, ce qui me préoccupe dans le monde, ce qui me touche, mes envies, mes désirs, ce qui me rend heureux, ce qui me rend triste, je te le demande des fois, juste quand j’ai des examens, je pourrais décevoir, pas correspondre à ton modèle d’enfant idéal, une machine à apprendre des actions, équations algébriques, temps de verbe, propositions subordonnées, j’ai plus envie que…, pas un robot, c’est correct, fâche-toi pas, monter pour souper, il a (y’a) tellement coulé, big time

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