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Posts Tagged ‘enweille’

A pedestrian walking eastward in Montréal crossed the street. Although he had the right of way, a car making a turn at the intersection attempted to cut him off. Angry, the pedestrian yelled at the driver of the car:

Mange d’la marde!

When the pedestrian reached the other side, he crossed the street yet again, this time heading south. That’s when another car passed in front of him, even though he again had the right of way. The pedestrian also yelled at this second driver:

Enweille, épaisse!!

As he yelled it, he motioned with his arms for the driver to get out of his way.

In the first quote, as you may have guessed, the expression manger de la marde means to eat shit.

In the second quote, enweille! is used to tell the driver to get a move on, as in move it!, come on! Épais, and the feminine form épaisse, are used in Québec to call someone an idiot.

Mange d’la marde!
Eat shit!

Enweille, épaisse!!
Move it, you idiot!!

Where does enweille! come from? Enweille! is an imperative form, deriving from the verb envoyer. It’s a colloquial pronunciation of envoye!, and you’ll sometimes see it spelled like that too in literature, in the dialogue of a character. In informal writing, you’ll see different variations: enweille!, anweille!, awèye!, etc.

As an adjective, épais means thick. In colloquial language, épais can also be used as an adjective or noun in the sense of idiot.

T’es ben épaisse de dire ça.
You’re such an idiot for saying that.

(T’es is a contraction of tu es; it sounds like té. Ben is a contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain and means very here. You can learn about high-frequency contracted forms used in colloquial Québécois French with OffQc’s Contracted French ebook and audio.)

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I went through the last dozen posts on OffQc, pulled out key expressions and vocabulary, then rearranged it all into this dialogue for review. (If you squint your eyes and plug your nose, it almost sounds like a real dialogue, with a surprise ending and all.)

Enweille! Qu’est-ce tu fais? C’est pas l’temps d’niaiser!
J’gratte ma guitare, man…
— Ah, c’est l’fun, hein?
Pas tant qu’ça. J’file pas… J’peux-tu t’bummer une smoke?
— Euh… non.
T’es ben gratteux, toé. Enweille, donne-moé une smoke. J’te niaise pas. J’ai un paquet d’problèmes! Mon restaurant spécialisé en grilled cheese a été vandalisé.
— Ah, ok. Bon ben… c’est pour ici ou pour emporter?
— Quoi?
Tes Timbits, c’est pour manger ici ou pour emporter?
— Ah, ouais… mes Timbits… euh, pour emporter… merci…

— Come on! What’re ya doing? Quit wasting time!
— Strummin’ my guitar, man…
— Ah, that’s fun, huh?
— Not really. I’m not feelin’ good… Can I bum a smoke off ya?
— Uh… no.
— You’re so cheap. Come on, give me a smoke. I’m not kidding. I’ve got a whole bunch of problems! My restaurant specialised in grilled cheese was broken into.
— Ah, ok. Right so… is it for here or to go?
— What?
— Your Timbits, are they for here or to go?
— Oh yeah.. my Timbits… uh, they’re to go… thanks…

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A guy in his late 20s, in Montréal, was waiting for his girlfriend to get out of the car. When he couldn’t wait any longer, he went over to her window and said an equivalent of this in French: “Hurry up! What’re ya doing?”

Can you guess how?

To say hurry up, he said: enweille! As an approximation, this sounds like the French word en followed by the English word way. In colloquial language, it can be used to tell someone to get a move on, as in hurry up, come on, let’s go. (In other contexts, it can also be used to encourage someone, as in come on, you can do it.) In informal writing, you’ll see it spelled a number of different ways: enweille, anweille, enwèye… In some forms of literature, you’ll occasionally see it spelled envoye when used in a character’s informal dialogue, but it’s still pronounced enweille.

As for what’re ya doing?, he didn’t quite say qu’est-ce que tu fais? Instead, he said qu’est-ce tu fais?, with que omitted. Qu’est-ce sounds like quèss, or like kess using an anglicised spelling. His question, then, sounded like quèss tu fais? This is a colloquial usage; you’ll often hear this occur in questions using tu: Qu’est-ce tu fais? Qu’est-ce t’as dit? Qu’est-ce tu veux? Qu’est-ce t’en penses? That last one means what do you think (about that)?, what’s your take?, where t’en is a contraction of tu en. In full, the question is qu’est-ce que tu en penses?

So, altogether, here’s what our guy said:

Enweille! Qu’est-ce tu fais?

___

Get caught up: The OffQc book 1000 Québécois French is a condensed version of all the language that appeared in the first 1000 posts on OffQc. You can buy and download it here.

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I took a look at some of the search terms visitors have used recently to land on OffQc via Google. In this post, I’ll try to provide the answers these visitors were looking for.

The search terms (in blue) are reproduced here exactly as the visitor spelled them in Google.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #1:
french canadian pronunciation of the word “pet” (fart)

The French word for fart is un pet. What I think you were probably wondering is whether or not the t on the end of pet is pronounced. The answer is yes. You’ll hear pet pronounced pètt in Québec.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #2:
le mot quebecois away la

The word you’re looking for is enweille or aweille. (The weille part sounds like the English word way. Other spellings are used as well, like awèye and enwèye.) Saying enweille! to someone is a way of motivating that person (as in you can do it!) or telling that person to get a move on, to hurry up (as in come on!).

For example, a coach might say enweille! to his players to encourage them (i.e., let’s go, you can do it!), or an angry parent might say it to his dillydallying child (i.e., come on, let’s go, move it!).

The expression let’s go! is also used in French, and it might be used alongside enweille:

Enweille, let’s go, let’s go!
You can do it, let’s go, let’s go!

Enweille, let’s go, let’s go!
Hurry up, let’s go, let’s go!

The Google searcher also wrote la in his search terms, which is of course là. can be used with enweille for emphasis: Enweille, là!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #3:
meaning je capote

Je capote can mean either I love it! (when happy) or I’m flipping out! (when angry).

For example, if someone’s really excited about something (winning a prize, for example), that person might say je capote! (I love it! This is so awesome!). A person who’s really angry about something might also say je capote! (I’m flipping out! I’m freaking out!).

The spontaneously used pronunciation is in fact j’capote, which sounds like ch’capote. 

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #4:
expression prendre une brosse

The Québécois expression prendre une brosse means to get drunk, wasted, sloshed, etc. A variation on this expression is virer une brosse.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #5
tu es fine in English

Tu es fine literally means you’re nice, you’re kind. It can also be translated as that’s kind of you. Fine is the feminine form. The masculine form is fin.

Remember, tu es contracts to t’es in regular speech (sounds like ), so you’ll hear it said spontaneously as t’es fine (for a woman) and t’es fin (for a man).

Other ways you can hear it said are: t’es ben fine, t’es ben fin and t’es don’ ben fine, t’es don’ ben fin. Ben sounds like the French word bain; it’s a contraction of bien. Ben fine and ben fin mean very kind, very nice. Don’ (from donc) adds even more emphasis. T’es don’ ben fine! (to a woman) You’re really kind! You’re really nice! That’s so very kind of you!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #6
capoti bain bain raide

What you want is capoter ben ben raide. Here’s the verb capoter again. Capoter ben raide means to totally flip out (in anger), to flip out big time, to totally lose it, etc.

Again, ben is a contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain. It means really here, and it can be repeated for emphasis. Raide literally means stiff, but it’s used here to reinforce, like ben.

J’ai capoté ben raide!
I totally flipped out! I totally lost it! I lost it big time!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #7
en calvaire québécois

In a recent post, we saw that être en tabarnak is a vulgar way of saying to be angry, similar to the English to be pissed off. Être en calvaire means the same thing. If you’re en calvaire, then you’re pissed off.

En calvaire can also be used as a rude reinforcer, like a vulgar version of the word très. (This goes for en tabarnak as well.) I’ fait chaud en calvaire, for example, means it’s really goddamn hot out.

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I grabbed a handful of usages that have appeared on OffQc since post #1000 and put them in a cloud. Can you explain to yourself how each one might be used? You can click on the image for a larger version.

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