Posts Tagged ‘fleur-de-lys’

1. GARS (guy, bloke)

The masculine gars rhymes with the French words pas, cas, tas. In other words, don’t pronounce the rs on the end of gars. If you do, you’ll end up saying garce instead, which is a word for bitch.

2. TABARNAK! (fuck!)

It bears repeating because it’s a common misconception: the Québécois don’t swear by saying tabernacle; they swear by saying tabarnak. The swear word tabarnak comes from tabernacle, yes, but tabernacle is reserved for referring to an actual tabernacle. Pay close attention to the differences between the two words: tabernacle and tabarnak. The swear word tabarnak has an a in the middle (not an e), and there’s no le on the end.

3. LYS (lily)

French words are replete with silent letters, but lys isn’t one of them. The final s is indeed pronounced in lys. What’s more, with the way the vowel i is pronounced by Québécois speakers in this word, you’ll notice lys sounds rather like liss (i.e., to rhyme with the English words hiss and miss). So it’s fleur-de-lisss, not fleur-de-liii.

4. BARIL (barrel)

The final L of baril is silent — in Québec, at any rate.

Here are more words whose final L is silent:

5. PERSIL (parsley)
6. NOMBRIL (bellybutton)
7. SOURCIL (eyebrow)
8. FUSIL (firearm)
9. GENTIL (kind, nice)
10. OUTIL (tool)

The final L of sourcil isn’t pronounced, but the final L of this word is heard:

11. CIL (eyelash)

And finally:

12. GENTILLE (nice, kind)

The masculine gentil ends in a silent L, but how’s the feminine form pronounced? The ille part of gentille sounds just like the ille part of the French word fille.


Learn how words contract in spoken Québécois French (with audio): read Contracted French

Read Full Post »