Posts Tagged ‘enwèye’

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?


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