Posts Tagged ‘se calmer le pompon’

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In #984, I pulled together a list of informal contractions used in Québécois French and that have come up in recent videos added to OffQc.

Let’s do another list here in #985 — useful phrases from the same videos that you can learn and start using right away when you speak French. The links take you back to the original posts so you can listen again if you want.

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In the QuébecOriginal video from #970, we heard the speaker say on se calme le pompon! The expression is se calmer le pompon. (The video is below if you want to listen again. The speaker’s words have been transcribed in #970, or here in the Listen section.)

In English, we can say that on se calme le pompon means (let’s) settle down (now), (let’s) take it easy, chill out, etc. As its definition on Wiktionnaire reads, it’s a way of telling someone who’s carried away with excessive enthusiasm or panic to settle down: se calmer le pompon — cesser d’être exagérément enthousiaste, scandalisé ou paniqué devant une idée ou une situation.

Why did the speaker say it in this video? She used it because she was listing all the things that can be done in Québec in the winter (marcher, ramer, glisser, etc.) and that hockey is like a religion, so it was a playful way of telling herself (or ourselves) to calm down with all that. She also said it because it provided the opportunity to inject a Québécois expression into the ad for flavour.

The Usito dictionary defines pompon (or pompom in English) as: petite boule de fils, généralement de laine ou de soie, qui sert d’ornement, and gives an example of use: une tuque à pompon (or a winter hat with a ball on the tip; that’s why we see an image of a tuque with a shaking pompom right when the speaker uses the expression).

The Wiktionnaire page for se calmer le pompon gives us two examples of use:

Calme-toi le pompon!
Settle down! Take it easy now!

Il y en a souvent qui crient au drame parce que leur chum a oublié de leur acheter des fleurs le 14 février… Calmez-vous le pompon, les filles! L’important, c’est qu’il pense à vous le reste de l’année.
(Voir, 9 février 2006)

There are often those who get all dramatic because their boyfriend forgot to buy them flowers on 14 February… Take a chill pill, girls! What’s important is that he thinks of you the rest of the year.

In short, on se calme le pompon and calme-toi le pompon mean the same thing as on se calme and calme-toi, but they’re informal and playful-sounding usages.

The text for this video is here.

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I found this video from QuébecOriginal (Tourisme Québec) promoting winter in Québec. In it, you’ll hear a few Québécois usages that we’ve looked at on OffQc.

This video was made to promote Québec to the European francophone market, which is why the speaker provides a couple definitions as she speaks.

L’hiver au Québec — attache ta tuque!

Tuque = bonnet de laine.

L’hiver, on marche, on court, on rame, on glisse, on promène les chiens, et ici le hockey, c’t’une religion. Eh bon, on s’calme le pompon!

Bref, l’hiver, pas l’temps d’niaiser.

Niaiser = perdre son temps.

On en profite au maximum. On a les mains froides, mais le coeur chaud. Ça, ça s’explique pas ; ça se ressent. Faut venir le vivre.

On est QuébecOriginal.

Winter in Québec — hold onto your tuque/hat! (Prepare yourself! Brace yourself!)

Tuque = woolly hat/winter hat. (Tuque is a Québécois usage; the speaker is providing bonnet de laine as an equivalent for the benefit of European listeners.)

In the winter, we walk, we run, we row, we slide, we walk the dogs, and hockey is a religion here… OK, let’s settle down now!

In short, no time to “niaiser” (waste time doing nothing) in the winter. (Time to get busy.)

Niaiser = waste your time. (The speaker is explaining to the European audience again; here, she’s defining the verb niaiser, which is a Québécois usage.)

We take full advantage. Our hands are cold, but out hearts are warm. You can’t explain it; you have to feel it. You have to come and live it.

We are QuébecOriginal.

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