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In entry #710 about the pronunciations pis, moé, and toé, I put up an example that happened to use the word drette in it:

Tantôt, j’étais au Subway, pis y’a un monsieur qui s’est étouffé avec son 6 pouces au thon drette à côté de moi.

Earlier on, I was at Subway [a fast-food restaurant], and there was a man who choked on his 6-inch tuna [sandwich] right next to me.

(source: Axe du Mad)

What does drette mean?

Drette is an informal québécois pronunciation of droit. In the example above, drette is the part that means “right” in the English translation.

drette à côté de moi
= juste à côté de moi
= right next to me

Tourne à drette.
= Tourne à droite.
= Turn right.

C’est drette là.
= C’est juste là.
= It’s right there.

Drette là may also be used informally in the sense of tout de suite, immédiatement.

In a Kijiji posting online, someone was trying to get rid of some furniture. The title of the ad was:

Faut que ça parte genre drette là!
It’s gotta go like right now!!

In that example, genre is the part translated as “like.”

In another online posting, someone had an apartment up for rent. The title of the ad was:

Appart à louer presque drette là!
Apartment for rent almost right away!

The final t in appart is pronounced. It’s an informal short form of appartement.

Drette is never used in formal language. It’s at the same level of language as words like moé, toé and icitte. Even if all Québécois understand what drette means, this doesn’t mean that everybody will use it.

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Passer la nuit sur la corde à lingeIf you share the bed with someone who snores, you know all about having rough nights and getting little sleep. (Get a good pair of ear plugs.)

In French, when you have a rough night, you could say that you’ve spent the night on the clothesline!

I spotted this ad in the métro earlier today. Sorry, the image is a little blurry. It was a bumpy train ride.

The ad asks: Est-ce que vos matins ressemblent à ça? Is this what your mornings look like?

In the image, we see a grumpy guy hanging on a clothesline with his happy-face cup of coffee.

Around him, we read solutions to sleepless nights offered by the business, like good mattresses and pillows. (They forgot the ear plugs.)

But why is the guy hanging on a clothesline? Because he’s had a sleepless night: Il a passé la nuit sur la corde à linge!

passer la nuit sur la corde à linge
to have a rough night, a sleepless night
(literally: to spend the night on the clothesline)

Remember: passer is pronounced pâsser in Québec.

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Election signs in Montréal

Election signs in Montréal

1. ch’t’à boutte

While doing a search on Google, I stumbled across the phrase ch’t’à boutte.

Ch’t’à boutte is a colloquial way of saying, “that’s it, I’ve had it!” You can’t take it anymore because you’re at the boutte, the end.

Ch’t’à boutte!
I’ve had it!
I’m fed up!

In this example, je suis à is pronounced as ch’t’à. The ch sound comes from a contraction of je suis to j’s, which sounds like ch. The t sound in there helps to join the ch sound to the à.

It’s not just in this example that you might hear ch’t’à. For example, ch’t’à Montréal means je suis à Montréal.

Boutte means bout. Pronouncing bout as boutte is a feature of informal speech. The expression être à boutte is an informal one, so you can pronounce bout as boutte here. When you’re using bout in its general sense of “end” (e.g., le bout du monde), I recommend you stick with the standard pronunciation bou.

2. brigadier scolaire

A crossing guard helped children to cross the street at an intersection. She was wearing a uniform with brigadier scolaire (crossing guard) printed on her back.

I think all of the crossing guard uniforms in Montréal say brigadier scolaire on them, which is the masculine form. It would have been better if her uniform said brigadière scolaire because she’s a woman.

C'est l'automne, il vente fort chez nous

C’est l’automne, il vente fort chez nous

3. il vente fort

The verb venter means “to be windy.” Il vente fort means “it’s really windy” or “the wind is blowing really hard.” I spotted an ad in a newspaper for a furniture store that reads: C’est l’automne, il vente fort chez nous.

Literally, this means: It’s autumn, and the wind is blowing really hard in our store. But it’s actually a play on words because vente also means “sale.”

In Québec, vente is often used interchangeably with solde in the sense of “sale” (i.e., when prices are reduced). In shop windows, sometimes you’ll see a sign that reads VENTE, and other times you’ll see SOLDES. They both mean that prices have been reduced in the shop.

Speaking of ventes, many people hold a vente de garage in the warmer months to sell their excess junk lying around the house. The vente de garage isn’t always held in the garage, though. The items for sale are often put on display in front of the house on the lawn or in the driveway.

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Remember this ad aimed at people with drug addictions?

Tanné d’être gelé?
Had it with being stoned?
Sick of being stoned?

Literally, gelé means frozen.

That sums up how someone who’s stoned looks.

Tanné means fed up. So, je suis tanné (which you can also hear pronounced informally as chu tanné or chui tanné), means “I’m fed up” or “I’ve had it.”

Tanné d'être gelé?I saw a new version of the ad the other day.

Now that it’s summer, the ad reads like this:

Tanné d’être gelé?
même l’été

It’s a play on words:

Had it with being frozen (i.e., stoned), even in the summer?

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Métro, boulot, dodo…

This French expression refers to the humdrum of everyday life.

You take the métro in the morning to go to your boulot (work), go home after work to go dodo (to sleep), then wake up the next morning and do it all again.

Boulot is an informal word for work. Dodo is a word used by children (and their parents!) meaning sleep or bedtime.

The STM is displaying an ad to promote an illimited weekend pass to use public transport. With the pass, it’s not métro, boulot, dodo but…

bus, stade, hot-dog, métro, concert, pub, dodo, bagel, bus, musée, smoked meat, métro, planétarium, métro, terrasse, dimsum, métro, la Ronde, barbe à papa, bus, bar, poutine, bus, dodo, brunch, métro, tam-tams, magasinage, bus, calèche, plage, métro, sushi, casino, bus, dodo!

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Tanné d'être gelé?

This ad seen in métro Atwater asks:

Tanné d’être gelé?
Had it with being stoned?

The ad is aimed at people with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions.

être tanné de
to be fed up with

gelé
stoned, drugged

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