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Posts Tagged ‘dans marde’

This post is all about how the Québécois marde can be used. Yes, that’s right, shit. Below — 6 examples. Let’s begin.

This image is entirely unrelated to the contents of this post.

This image is entirely unrelated to the contents of this post.

T’ES DANS’ MARDE, MAN…

The first thing you can do with shit in Québec is get yourself in it. (Try not to.) T’es dans’ marde, man. You’re screwed, man. You’re in trouble.

T’es is a spoken language contraction of tu es. T’es sounds like té.

Dans’ is a spoken contraction of dans la. First, la loses its l, which leaves us with dans ’a. When you say dans ’a, the ’a gets virtually swallowed up in the vowel sound of dans. There’s perhaps still a trace of it left over, but, practically speaking, we can say that dans la marde sounds like dans marde (although, in reality, dans is probably held just a millisecond longer than a regular dans in this case). We can use an apostrophe — dans’ — to signal that there used to be a la (or a contracted ’a) in there: dans’ marde.

AH BEN MAUDITE MARDE!

You can express anger by damning shit. The interjection maudite marde literally means damned shit, but you can use it the way you might say things in English like damn it, bloody hell or even just shit. Maudite marde, j’ai perdu ma Rolex! Damn it, I lost my Rolex!

For effect, maybe you’ll even want to add ah ben to it. Despite its spelling, ben sounds like the French word bain. In other words, the en of ben sounds like the nasalised in, not en! We could also spell it bin to make it phonetic, but the spelling ben is much more common. Ben is a contraction of bien. Ah ben helps to add desperation. Ah ben maudite marde! Well, damn it! Well, shit!

ÇA VAUT PAS D’LA MARDE

If you’re having a shitty day, maybe you’ll want to exclaim, aujourd’hui, ma vie, c’est d’la marde. My life’s shit today. Well, that’s what Lisa LeBlanc said in a song, anyway. You might even want to take it a step further and say, aujourd’hui, ma vie, ça vaut pas d’la marde. My life’s not worth shit today.

D’la is a spoken language contraction of de la. This contraction is used quite literally all the time. In ça vaut pas d’la marde, if you visualise the the d’ as coming at the end of pas instead of the beginning of la, you’ll probably find it easier to pronounce. In other words, first say pas with a d sound on the end of it, then say la.

J’VAS Y DONNER D’LA MARDE

Christmas is the season of giving, so why not give some shit? J’vas y donner d’la marde means I’m gonna give him shit, which is really just a shitty way of saying I’m gonna yell at him.

J’vas is a spoken language equivalent of je vais. The vas in j’vas rhymes with pas. To pronounce the contracted j’vas, just say vas with the French j sound on the front of it, all in one syllable.

Y here is a spoken language contraction of lui. (J’vas lui donner d’la marde.) There’s no liaison between vas and y.

MANGE DON’ D’LA MARDE!

If you’re gonna give someone shit, then you might as well go all the way and tell him to eat it – if you’re prepared to take a fistful of shit in the face in return, that is. Mange don’ d’la marde! Eat shit, will you! Don’ here is really donc, but don’t pronounce the c.

AH PIS D’LA MARDE!

Pis sounds like pi. It rhymes with the French word si. Pis is a contraction of puis.

Have you run out of shits to give while making a decision? Ah pis d’la marde! Imagine a child taking her first steps on her own in the living room with her parents looking on encouragingly. She takes one step, then two, then… boom! She crashes to the floor. She knows she’s supposed to get back up and try again; she can see the fiery glow of excitement in her parents’ eyes. But trying again is hard work. What she really wants to do is sit down and throw up her lunch.

She hesitates… try again or sit and throw up? try again or sit and throw up? OK, fine, I’ll try just one more time for mummy and daddy. But just as she begins to push herself up, she changes her mind. It’s just not worth the effort, and that mashed butternut squash she just ate really isn’t sitting right in her stomach. She sits back down, and, much to the horror of her parents, exclaims with resignation, ah pis d’la marde! Ah screw it!

Keep reading about swearing in Québécois French:

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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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