Posts Tagged ‘croiser’

Dejah asks me for help understanding the difference between the French verbs crosser and croiser… which is a good request, because crosser has meanings that you may want to avoid when you meant something altogether different.

Let’s look at the following usages to help you make sense of things:

se crosser
crosser quelqu’un
se faire crosser par quelqu’un
un crosseur
croiser les bras, croiser les jambes
croiser quelqu’un
deux routes qui se croisent
faire un signe de croix

On Pinterest, a user has a board called le genre de place où j’aimerais peut-être me crosser (the kind of place where I’d maybe like to have a wank), with images of country lanes and rugged landscapes. The verb he used here is se crosser, which sounds a lot like “to cross oneself.”

In Québec, “crossing yourself” is an informal way of referring to masturbation. The verb se crosser is never used to talk about crossing yourself in the Catholic sense: making the sign of the cross on yourself. For that, you can say se signer. In Québec, “crossing yourself,” or se crosser, is very un-Catholic. It’s also an important cause of hairy palms in adolescent boys.

On La Parlure, we find this example of usage: Sylvie a pas rappelé, fait que je vais aller me crosser en pensant à mon ex (Sylvie didn’t call back, so I’m gonna go jack off while thinking about my ex). We also find this one: au lieu de baiser, je me suis crossé (instead of fucking, I jerked off).

On Wikébec, this example shows how the verb crosser can be used in the sense of screwing someone over: il m’a crossé, le chien (that dog [bastard] screwed me over). In this example, the expression is crosser quelqu’un.

On La Parlure, another example of this: je me suis fait crosser par mon propriétaire (I got screwed over by the owner). The expression is se faire crosser par quelqu’un (to get screwed over by someone).

Speaking of getting screwed over, someone who does the screwing over can be referred to as un crosseur.

To talk about crossed arms or legs, it’s the verb croiser that you want. In an article providing tips about making a good impression at a job interview, we read that it’s best to avoid crossing your arms or legs, éviter de croiser les bras ou les jambes.

If you came across someone you knew in the street, the verb croiser can be used: j’ai croisé un ami dans la rue. The verb se croiser is used in the same sense, but here it’s people happening across one another. In the Usito dictionary, we find: ils se croisent toujours dans le même quartier (they always come across one another in the same neighbourhood).

This dictionary also provides the example of roads that cross each other: cette ville était le seul endroit où les deux routes se croisaient (this city was the only place where the two roads crossed each other).

To talk about crossing the street yourself, you can use the verb traverser, for example: regarder des deux cotés de la rue avant de traverser (to look both ways before crossing the street).

The verb croiser has a few other uses, but those are some of the main ones. At the very least, now you know the difference between ils se sont croisés and ils se sont crossés. You also now know that last example has nothing to do with being a fervent Catholic.

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