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Un gros bec sur le front

gros bec sur le front

Just when you thought you’d already see it all, along come 7 new words used in Québec appearing on OffQc for the very first time! (Or at least I think it’s the first time; even I can’t keep track of what’s on OffQc anymore.)

The French in this entry comes from Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer (tome 1), written by Maude Schiltz. If you’re reading this, Maude, I think I’m gonna have to rename this blog Ah shit, je parle québécois! Thanks for the great examples, as always.

Here are the 7 words, which we’ll look at in more detail below:

1. boules, boobs
2. fitter, to fit
3. chnoute, shit
4. down, down (duh!)
5. booker, to book
6. raqué, worn out, sore
7. bec, kiss

In her book, Maude lists the leading causes of breast cancer, like heredity, being overweight, smoking, stress, alcohol, etc. She explains that she doesn’t fit the typical profile (most of the causes don’t apply to her), but she developed breast cancer nonetheless. She says: Je ne fitte pas dans les statistiques. La morale dans tout ça? Si vous ne fittez pas non plus, checkez-vous les boules pareil. I don’t fit the statistics. Moral of the story? If you don’t fit the statistics either, check your boobs anyway.

Boules is a feminine word. The English word “tits” seems too vulgar a translation for boules (or at least here, it does), and “breasts” doesn’t convey the informality of the word; “boobs” seems like the best way to render boules in English.

Maude reminds us of the importance of eating well, not smoking, and avoiding the sun and products like cheap perfumes that are pleins de parabènes en particulier et de chnoute en général, full of parabens in particular and crap in general. If you heard someone say c’est de la chnoute when talking about a product, the person is saying that it’s crap, shitty, a piece of junk, etc.

At one point, Maude tells us that her chum was having a hard time accepting her cancer and that he was feeling down. She says: Chrystian a pogné le creux de la vague. Chrystian’s feeling really down. It’s a longer, more descriptive way of saying être down, which Maude also uses in her book. We can probably liken the French expression pogner le creux de la vague to the English expression “to be down in the dumps.”

Maude explains that she and her chum never feel down at the same time though, which is a good thing: La bonne chose, c’est qu’on n’est jamais down en même temps, alors il y en a toujours un pour essayer de remonter l’autre, tout n’est pas perdu. The good thing is that we’re never down at the same time, so there’s always one of us to help pick the other back up; all’s not lost. A similar expression is pogner un down, for example: Moi, chui méga frue et j’ai pogné un down. I’m frustrated big time and I’m down in the dumps. Fru and frue are informal shortforms of frustré, frustrée.

When Maude had to cancel her appointment with her tattoo artist for health reasons, she was very saddended by it. She tells the tattooist to give her appointment to someone else: J’ai eu beaucoup, mais beaucoup de peine en disant au tatoueur de laisser tomber et de booker quelqu’un d’autre à ma place. I was very, and I mean very upset when I told the tattooist to forget it and book someone else instead. Booker is pronounced bouker.

Maude’s happy to learn later on though that her doctor says she can indeed get a tattoo done. She manages to land a last-minute appointment: Les tatoueurs de chez Imago m’ont fait une place à la dernière minute pour demain, eux qui sont bookés tellement d’avance. The tattooers at Imago, who are always booked so far in advance, booked me in at the last minute for tomorrow. Maude uses the verb booker yet again when she talks about how her schedule fills up quickly every day: Mon temps se booke vite. My time fills up fast.

You know how you feel after a strenuous workout? You can describe that worn-out and aching feeling as being raqué. In a different part of the book, Maude describes her state of health: Je suis raquée, ça me pique partout et j’ai encore mal à la gorge et à la peau. I’m sore all over, it’s prickling all over my body, and my throat and skin still hurt.

And finally, a word you might not know but will surely like to learn: un bec. A bec isn’t a juicy, sloppy wet kiss: that’s un french. A bec, for example, can be a little peck on the cheek (petit bec sur la joue) or a big kiss planted on someone’s forehead, like when Maude thanks her tattoo artist by saying: Hugues, gros bec sur le front : X! Hugues, big kiss on the forehead: X! The expression donner un bec à quelqu’un means “to give someone a kiss.”

Well, I said 7 words, but there’s actually a lot more than that here, isn’t there? Here’s the main stuff again, simplified in list form:

Je ne fitte pas dans les statistiques.
I don’t fit the statistics.

La morale dans tout ça?
Moral of the story?

Checkez-vous les boules pareil.
Check your boobs anyway.

plein de chnoute
full of shit, full of crap

C’est de la chnoute.
It’s crap. It’s a piece of junk.

Chrystian a pogné le creux de la vague.
Chrystian’s feeling really down; he’s down in the dumps.

On n’est jamais down en même temps.
We’re never down at the same time.

Moi, chui méga frue et j’ai pogné un down.
I’m frustrated big time and I’m down in the dumps.

booker quelqu’un d’autre à ma place
to book someone else in my spot

Ils sont bookés tellement d’avance.
They’re booked so far in advance.

Mon temps se booke vite.
My time fills up fast.

Je suis raqué.
I’m worn out, sore all over.

Gros bec sur le front!
Big kiss on the forehead!

un petit bec sur la joue
a little kiss on the cheek

donner un bec à quelqu’un
to give someone a kiss

_ _ _

French quotes written by Maude Schiltz in Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer (tome 1), Éditions de Mortagne, Boucherville (Québec), 2013.

Page references: boules 200; fitter 200; chnoute 204; down 190; booker 54, 55, 63; raqué 73; bec 62.

You can find all the entries on OffQc related to Maude’s book Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer here.

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