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Posts Tagged ‘dans la face’

On Urbania in “Il ne fait définitivement pas beau dans le métro,” Marie Darsigny writes about her displeasure with taking the métro.

She says:

Mon rêve : une bataille générale à Berri-UQAM, où je sors ma sandwich et l’effouerre dans la face de mon prochain.

My dream: a brawl at Berri-UQAM, where I take out my sandwich and squash it in the face of the person next to me.

A few interesting things to look at in this quote:

1. Your dictionary probably says un sandwich, but it’s used here in the feminine instead — ma sandwich. You’ll often hear sandwich used in the feminine, particularly in spoken language.

2. The verb effoirer means to squash, to crush. This verb is an informal usage. It didn’t even make it into the Usito dictionary.

The author has used a pronunciation variation, and then spelled that variation phonetically (effouerrer).

I squash my sandwich in the face of the person next to me.
J’effoire ma sandwich dans la face de mon prochain.
Or using the author’s variation:
J’effouerre ma sandwich dans la face de mon prochain.

The Wiktionnaire article for effoirer says the following about this verb’s spelling variations:

Variantes orthographiques
Elles sont très nombreuses : ce verbe étant essentiellement oral, il est très souvent transcrit phonétiquement par la personne qui l’écrit. Par exemple, on trouve effouarer, effouerer, effouérer, effouèrer, éffoirer, éffouarer, éffouèrer, éffouérer, éffouerer, effouairer, éfouérer.

Got all that?

The reflexive verb s’effoirer has a different meaning. For example, s’effoirer sur le divan means to crash on the sofa. The same Wiktionnaire article gives this example of it: J’ai juste le goût de m’effoirer sur le divan, I just feel like crashing on the sofa.

3. Can you say how dans la face in the quote might be pronounced spontaneously? Dans la can contract in informal speech, but do you remember how?

Maybe you’ll remember from past posts the expression dans la marde, which contracts informally to dans’ marde in spoken language. T’es dans’ marde means you’re screwed. Dans’ is a spoken reduction of dans la.

The same reduction can occur in dans la face.

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Marie Darsigny, Il ne fait définitivement pas beau dans le métro, Urbania, 17 February 2015.

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We’ve seen it before: when dans and la come together in colloquial speech, la might lose its L sound leaving us with dans ‘a.

Then, if you say that fast, the remaining ‘a sound just kind of gets swallowed up.

That’s why dans la marde in the expression être dans la marde (to be in shit, trouble) sounds more like dans marde in colloquial speech.

T’es dans’ marde!
(= Tu es dans la marde!)
You’re in shit!
You’re in trouble!
You’re in for it!

I suppose for good style we should include an apostrophe after dans to show that the la was contracted (dans’ marde), but it’s rare in casual writing online to see anybody actually bother.

The same thing can happen with the expression dans la face. It can become dans’ face. Here are some examples from around the Wonderful World Wide Web. I’ll put the apostrophe in for good measure.

Ça fait sept ans que j’ai ça dans’ face.
I’ve had that in my face for seven years.

Essaye de te contrôler avec ça dans’ face 24 heures sur 24.
(You just) try to control yourself with that in your face 24 hours a day.

Maudit internet. Quand on était jeune, câlice, on se disait ça dans’ face.
Damn internet. When we were young, for fuck’s sake, we’d say that to each other’s face.

J’ai juste à y flasher ça dans’ face!
I just have to flash that in his face!

The y here is an informal pronunciation of lui. In full, this sentence would read: j’ai juste à lui flasher ça dans la face.

C’est comme un coup de poing dans’ face.
It’s like a punch in the face.

A friend on Facebook sent me the image below. You can click on it. I’m not sure where the photo was taken, but it doesn’t matter.

There’s a mistake on the sign. Can you understand why the mistake is funny?

The sign should have said:

Piétons, prenez le trottoir d’en face.
Pedestrians, take the other sidewalk.

Here’s a correct example.

D’en face means “on the opposite side.” But say d’en face aloud. It sounds just like dans face, doesn’t it?

Piétons, prenez le trottoir dans face.
Pedestrians, shove the sidewalk in your face!

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Merci Anne-Marie 😀

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