Posts Tagged ‘mayor’

Mado Lamotte

Click on Mado’s lovely hair to sashay away to her articles on Fugues

Not only does Montréal’s most famous drag queen have eyelashes to die for, she also has a column.

Mado Lamotte’s articles appear online and in hard copy in the city’s gay and lesbian magazine Fugues.

Last year, Mado took a trip to Ontario, la province qu’on aime bien bitcher, she says, or “the province everyone loves to bitch.”

Before she visited Toronto, she had only other people’s notions of the city in her head:

Combien de fois j’ai entendu des Québécois partis faire fortune dans la Ville Reine me dire : «C’est donc ben plate icitte, je m’ennuie de Montréal!»

I’ve heard people from Québec who’ve moved to Toronto to make lots of money say to me so many times: “It’s just so boring here, I miss Montréal!”

After hearing endless comments like that, she says it’s not hard to believe that “you always get bored and die in Ontario,” on s’ennuie toujours pour mourir en Ontario.

Besides, isn’t that what it says on Ontario’s licence plate too?


Mado discovered on her trip that she actually loved Ontario. She even had these nice things to say about Toronto in particular:

J’aurais jamais cru écrire ça un jour mais vraiment mes chéris, on l’a pus icitte l’affaire à Montréal. Dire qu’on a déjà été la ville la plus cool, la plus flyée, la plus too much du Canada, pis v’là-tu pas qu’on découvre que le vrai party c’est à Toronto qu’il se passe maintenant. Crack, alcool, pot, prostituées, les Torontois eux autres y savent faire le party! Rob Ford vient de détrôner Justin Bieber comme bad boy canadien de l’année. On a l’air fin nous autres avec notre Denis Coderre.

I never thought I’d write this one day but really, my dears, Montréal hasn’t got it anymore. To think we were once the coolest, the wildest, the most over-the-top city in Canada, and whaddya know, it turns out the real party is in Toronto now. Crack, alcohol, pot, prostitutes, those Torontonians sure know how to party! The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has just defeated Justin Bieber as Canadian Bad Boy of the Year. We in Montréal seem “nice” with our mayor, Denis Coderre.

Yes, the city’s “Toronto the Good” reputation is definitely taking a good beating lately.

In French, Toronto’s got a nickname — la Ville Reine, or the “Queen City.” Hmm, maybe that’s why Mado ended up liking Toronto so much. She thought they named the whole city after her.

In the phrase on l’a pus icitte, l’affaire, the word pus sounds like pu. It’s an informal pronunciation of plus, when plus means “no more.” Icitte means ici. The word affaire is often used in the sense of “thing” in French: here, that “thing” is what Mado says Montréal hasn’t got anymore. Similarly, you could tell someone they’re great with: tu l’as, l’affaire!

Flyé is pronounced like the English word “fly” with é added to the end of it. Something that’s flyé is wild or “out there.”

When Mado writes eux autres y savent faire le party, the eux autres part means “them” (the people of Toronto), and y is an informal pronunciation of ils: eux autres, ils savent faire le party. Even though eux autres and y both refer to the same thing, this kind of repetition is common in French.

The expression v’la-tu pas que… is used to show surprise about something (here, that it turns out the real party’s in Toronto). This expression was also preceded by pis, which means “and” here (it’s a reduction of puis).

C’est donc ben plate icitte is pronounced cé don bin plate icitte. The expression donc ben means “very,” and plate means “boring.” Sometimes plate is also spelled platte. The masculine and feminine forms of this adjective are the same.

Je m’ennuie de Montréal means “I miss Montréal.” The expression here is s’ennuyer de quelque chose (or s’ennuyer de quelqu’un). If someone said je m’ennuie de toi, this means “I miss you.”

When pot means “marijuana” in French, the final t is pronounced.

And bitcher in French, that’s “to bitch.” There’s also la bitch, which means the same thing as its English equivalent.

_ _ _

French quotes by Mado Lamotte in:

«In et out version 2.0», Fugues, 27 janvier 2014.

«Y’a pas juste des Ontariens en Ontario», Fugues, 23 septembre 2013.

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In an article from the Journal de Montréal called “Pas les moyens de rêver” (3 November 2013), journalist Richard Martineau used three French expressions that borrow a word from English:

1. gérer la shop
2. ça manque de punch
3. passer la moppe

Before the election had come to an end yesterday, Martineau argued in his article that Montréal doesn’t need an ambitious mayor with big projects in mind.

He said that Montréal needs a realistic mayor, someone who can clean up city hall and who knows how to gérer la shop, or “run the place,” like candidate Marcel Côté. The “shop” he was referring to is in fact city hall, l’hôtel de ville.

Martineau admitted that some people probably found Côté’s electoral platform to be lacklustre, ça manque de punch, but that it was also a realistic and prudent one.

Before even thinking about big projects, he said that Montréal needs someone like Marcel Côté to come in and passer la moppe et l’aspirateur dans tous les coins de l’hôtel de ville, or “mop and vacuum every corner of city hall.”

gérer la shop
to run the place

ça manque de punch
it lacks punch
it’s dull

passer la moppe
to mop up

The word shop is feminine: la shop. You may hear this word used to refer to a workshop, for example. But Martineau gave the expression gérer la shop a figurative meaning here. He wasn’t talking about a workshop; he was referring to city hall. We can probably translate the expression here as “to run the place.”

If it’s dull, if it’s got no punch, ça manque de punch. Anything boring could be described this way. A boring idea? A bland dish of food? Ça manque de punch!

The expression passer la moppe was also used figuratively here. Martineau didn’t mean that somebody needs to clean up city hall with a mop and water. He meant that someone needs to put things in order. That said, you can also hear passer la moppe used literally in the sense of washing a floor with a mop and water. When used, moppe is feminine: la moppe.

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