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Mike Ward is a comedian from Québec. Here’s what he tweeted on 15 July:

Pu de batteries AA pour ma souris, j’en ai patenté une avec une batterie AAA et du papier d’alu… MacGyver serait fier de moi.

Out of AA batteries for my mouse, I improvised one with an AAA battery and some tin foil… MacGyver would be proud of me.

1. pu de

This is an informal pronunciation of plus de, as in “no more left (of something).” For example, y’a pu d’lait is an informal pronunciation of il n’y a plus de lait.

2. une batterie

In French everywhere, une batterie refers to the battery of a car. In Québec, batterie can also refer to household batteries used in gadgets, like an AA or AAA battery — une pile. It’s in this sense that Ward used it.

3. patenter

The verb patenter here is used in the sense of inventing or concoting stuff, à la MacGyver. In this case, Ward says that he improvised an AA battery.

Patenter in this sense is a québécois usage. In an Urbania article, we find this example of use: patenter une app, which means “to come up with an app,” but more in the sense of concocting one.

4. du papier d’alu

Alu is an informal short form for aluminium.

@MikeWardca

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