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Posts Tagged ‘publicité’

I came across the ad in the first image in a public space in Montréal. It’s from a mobile phone company called Fido, who always use dogs in their ads. This one says:

On a du flair pour les bonnes affaires
We’ve got flair for good deals

There’s wordplay here because the text reminds us of the French verb flairer, which is something that dogs do: “to sniff.”

Le chien policier a flairé 50 kilos de pot.
The police dog sniffed out 50 kilos of pot.

The t in pot in the sense of marijuana is pronounced. It sounds like potte.

This ad from Fido reminded me of six expressions used in Québec related to dogs (and bitches):

1. ton chien est mort
2. avoir du chien
3. fucker le chien
4. avoir la chienne
5. donner la chienne
6. c’est chien

Ton chien est mort. You’re shit outta luck!

1. ton chien est mort

If your dog is dead, it’s because your chances of achieving something have all gone out the window.

Imagine you’re a guy who really wants to go out with a certain girl you’ve been interested in for a long time. Just when you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask her out, you discover she’s begun going out with a guy a thousand times more attractive than you… Fuhgeddaboudit, guy. Ain’t gonna happen. Your dog is dead. Ton chien est mort. You no longer stand a chance!

You can also say mon chien est mort and son chien est mort.

2. avoir du chien

If you’ve “got dog,” it’s because you’re determined. You’ve got personality. You’re a go-getter.

Ces deux jeunes-là ont du chien et réalisent de grandes choses.
Those two young people are go-getters and are doing big things.

Elle a du talent et du chien.
She’s got talent and determination.

3. fucker le chien

Fucker le chien?This expression literally means “to fuck the dog.”

The idea behind this expression is to waste time or go around in circles trying to accomplish something.

A variation on this expression is fourrer le chien. The verb fourrer also means “to fuck.”

Fucker is pronounced foquer.

J’ai fucké le chien dans ma jeunesse.
I did fuck-all in my youth.

J’ai fucké le chien pour modifier mon mot de passe.
I had a fuck of a hard time trying to change my password.

J’ai fucké le chien avec ça pendant deux mois.
I had a fuck of a hard time with that for two months.

4. avoir la chienne

Une chienne is the female form of chien. So, this expression literally means “to have the bitch.” If you’ve got the bitch, it’s because you’re terrified, frightened.

This expression has in fact already appeared twice on OffQc.

In entry #225, a character called Brigitte from the television show 30 vies tells a colleague she must get tested for cancer. She admits to being terrified:

J’ai tellement la chienne.
I’m so terrified.

In entry #238, we saw that a newspaper headline read:

Les libraires ont la chienne
Booksellers are terrified

The newspaper article was about how booksellers are terrified at the idea of becoming irrelevant due to the advent of the iPad.

5. donner la chienne

This is similar to number 4; donner la chienne means to terrify, to frighten.

Ça me donne la chienne.
It frightens me.

Les hôpitaux me donnent la chienne.
Hospitals terrify me.

6. c’est chien

In this expression, chien means méchant.

C’est chien de dire ça, mais c’est vrai.
It’s a nasty thing to say, but it’s true.

C’est vraiment chien ce que t’as fait.
What you did was really mean.

C’est vraiment chien ce que je vais dire, mais…
What I’m about to say is really nasty, but…

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This ad comes from a website where job offers are posted: jobgo.ca.

I first came across this ad in the métro in Montréal (but I borrowed the image above from their website).

Magasiner : 6 heures
Gagner sa vie : 100 000 heures
AIME TA JOB.

Shopping: 6 hours
Earning a living: 100 000 hours
LOVE YOUR JOB.

There are two québécois usages in this ad.
Can you identify them?

1. The first québécois usage is magasiner. This verb means “to shop,” and it’s not used anywhere else in the French-speaking world. Similarly, the masculine noun magasinage means “shopping.” The people who do the shopping are called un magasineur or une magasineuse.

Spelling tip: These words derive from magasin, so they’re always spelled with an s (magasiner, magasinage, etc.) and never a z (magaziner, magazinage). They aren’t spelled with a z because they don’t derive from magazine.

magasiner en ligne
to shop online

faire un peu de magasinage
to take in a bit of shopping

magasiner un nouveau lit
to go shopping for a new bed
to shop around for a new bed

2. The second québécois usage is ta job. Elsewhere in the French-speaking world, job is masculine. Job is sometimes masculine in Québec too, particularly in writing. The feminine usage is much more of a spoken form. So, it’s kind of interesting to see the feminine form used in the ad above, rather than the masculine one.

Here’s an informal expression heard in Québec using la job:

Ça va faire la job!
That’ll do the job!
That’ll do the trick!

A related word is une jobine, which refers informally to smaller projects, temporary work, summer jobs, etc.

On the United Way Ottawa website, there’s a testimonial from a guy called Joshua about how the United Way helped him. He said: “(They) helped me find a job that wasn’t just a pay cheque: it’s a career.”

In the French translation of what Joshua said, we get a good sense of the difference between the words carrière and jobine: « Ils m’ont aidé à trouver une carrière, et pas juste une jobine avec un chèque de paie. »

Because job and jobine derive from the English “job,” they are pronounced with an English j sound, not a French one.

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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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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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