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Posts Tagged ‘se garder une petite gêne’

Here’s more French as spoken by Ricardo.

As he was preparing a dish before his televised audience, he said to go easy on the salt when adding it to his preparation. His exact words were:

Mollo sur le sel.
Easy on the salt.

Use normal French stress when pronouncing mollo (i.e., on final syllable). Mollo means gently, with moderation.

At the same time that he said mollo sur le sel, he also said:

On se garde une p’tite gêne.
We’ll hold off, we’ll hold back, let’s show some restraint, etc.

This was Ricardo’s way of insisting further on not using too much salt.

You’ve seen the expression se garder une petite gêne before when a TELUS advertising campaign linked it to pulling out one’s penis at inopportune moments.

Ricardo also uses this expression a lot:

Grosso modo.
More or less.

Use normal French stress when pronouncing grosso modo (i.e., on final syllables). Grosso modo means more or less, approximately.

Ricardo uses this expression when the amount of an ingredient to be added doesn’t need to be exact, just approximate. For example: une cuillère à soupe, grosso modo, a tablespoon, more or less.

The expression grosso modo can be used in any kind of conversation where you want to say more or less, not just when talking about cooking.

Whenever Ricardo wants to stress that preparing something in a certain way is very important, he often says:

C’est ben important.
It’s really important.

Ben is an informal, spoken contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain. Ben important sounds like bain n’important.

1. Mollo sur le sel.
2. On se garde une p’tite gêne.
3. Grosso modo.
4. C’est ben important.

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TELUS (a mobile phone company in Canada) tells guys to put their phones and penises away… all while demonstrating the expression se garder une petite gêne as used in the French of Québec.

Hey, what more could you ask for in a cellphone provider?

TELUS released an advertising campaign on Facebook this month. The ads promoted July as a cellphone manners month — basically, don’t take your phone out at inappropriate moments, like at the restaurant or cinema.

Many of the ads, like the ones that follow, included sexual innuendo capitalising on the whole pulling-your-phone-out / pulling-your-dick-out thing. (I think it’s a thing, isn’t it?)

Click on the images to see the enlarged version.

In the first example, the ad reads:

Avez-vous tendance à vouloir le sortir à table?
Do you have a tendency of wanting to take it out at the table?
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne

The question is literally asking if you have a tendency of wanting to whip out your phone while at the table.

Between the lines, however, is the question of whether or not you whip out what’s between your legs as well.

‘Cos, you know, it’s common knowledge that as soon as guys sit down at the table for supper, they have an uncontrollable desire to pull their penis out.

But the second part, gardez-vous une petite gêne, what does that mean?

We’re being told to not do socially unacceptable stuff and to restrain ourselves, like from wanting to use our phone at inappropriate moments or from wanting to take our penis out.

(Yes, really. This all gets even better below.)

Se garder une petite gêne (and I believe this expression is unused in European French) means to show restraint in public, to show modesty.

So, for example, if a pervert on the bus suddenly took his penis out, you could politely admonish him by saying: Monsieur, gardez-vous une p’tite gêne!

If we pick the expression apart, we get: “to keep a little embarrassment to oneself.” You know, like whipping your dinky out at the table — keep a little embarrassment to yourself and put that thing away.

The TELUS campaign continues with examples of different men who don’t keep a little embarrassment to themselves — they take not only their phone out at inappropriate moments, but their member as well.

In this second ad, we see that TELUS has taken a special moment between two young people in love and turned it into something filthy.

Dude has a tendency of taking his phone slash penis out on the first date:

Je le sors même de mes jeans au premier rendez-vous.
I even take it out of my jeans on the first date.
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne.

Or how about at the restaurant?

In this third ad, I don’t think our lady friend would like it if her date whips his phone slash penis out before the crème brûlée is served and things start getting really hot and sleazy down at the resto.

Espérons qu’il le garde sous la table jusqu’au dessert.
Let’s hope he keeps it under the table until dessert.
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne.

Has the expression gardez-vous une petite gêne been burnt into your memory yet? Good!

In this fourth ad, we’re reminded that juillet est le mois de la courtoisie au cellulaire (July is cellphone manners month), followed by this information about our last licentious slimeball (or is he the same slimeball from the last ad?):

Au cinéma, il ne reste jamais longtemps dans mon bermuda.
At the cinema, it never stays put in my shorts for very long.
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne.

OK, TELUS! I think we’ve understood loud and clear — July is the month for keeping our phones and penises where they belong at inappropriate moments.

Got it, guys? In July,
on se garde une p’tite gêne.

(July ends next week.)

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