Posts Tagged ‘sloche’

In Québec, you’ll find slush all year round… not because winter never ends, but because you can drink it in the summer as a treat.

In the winter, la sloche (or la slush) is snow on the ground that becomes watery and dirty as large numbers of pedestrians or cars pass over it.

Corner of rue Sainte-Catherine and rue Guy in Montréal, December 2013

In the summer, you can drink la sloche (or la slush) in the form of a colourful, icy drink that you slurp up through a straw.

Window of a dépanneur at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, July 2015

For the sake of interest, and as you might have imagined, the OQLF recommends different words for these two concepts because sloche comes from English. For winter slush, one of the recommended words is la gadoue. For summer slush, one of the recommended words is la barbotine. This doesn’t stop people from using sloche colloquially in both cases, of course.

One of the reasons they give for not recommending sloche is that it doesn’t fill any gaps in the French language because words like gadoue and barbotine exist. This argument doesn’t hold up; we can also say that gadoue and barbotine don’t fill any gaps because the word sloche exists. Shall we stop saying content because heureux exists? It’s unclear to me why they need to hide the real motive and which everybody already knows anyway — they don’t recommend sloche because it comes from English.

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More Urbania!

Keven Breton writes about the consequences of having fingers that don’t bend and, as a result, are stuck in the “fuck you” position.

I don’t know what it’s like to have fingers that don’t bend. I only know what it’s like to have an ankle and toes that don’t bend.

Since being hit by a vehicle that ran over my foot, my fourth toe sits partially atop my big toe. (It’s not so much the “fuck you” position as it is the “what the fuck” position.)

So I read Keven’s blog post with great interest — and then I came across some vocab that you might like to know.

In his blog post, Keven writes about the time he came back from the store with a beer, the beer that would make his journée poche all better.

Once home, he begins to clean la slush off the wheels of his wheelchair. He does this on the rug so that he doesn’t get the floor dirty.

But then he spills his beer all over the floor anyway — il renverse la bière drette dessus.

une journée poche
a crappy day

la slush, la sloche
slush (dirty, soupy snow)

drette dessus
right on it, right on top of it

J’ai renversé la bière drette dessus means I spilled the beer right on it. Chu tombé drette dessus means I fell right on it. T’as mis le doigt drette dessus means you hit the nail on the head (literally, you put your finger right on it). Drette dessus is an informal usage.

Keven Breton’s blog posts on Urbania can be found here. If you want to check out the blog posts from all Urbania authors, that’s here. Urbania blog posts are refreshingly different, and the writing often contains elements of informally spoken language.

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Keven Breton, Ces doigts qui ne plient pas, Urbania, 27 January 2015.

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Les Justiciers masqués (two humoristes québécois named Marc-Antoine Audette and Sébastien Trudel) write a column in Montréal’s version of the free Métro newspaper.

In the 8 February 2013 edition of Métro, les Justiciers masqués express their frustration over the people who travel south to escape the winter and then brag about it on Facebook:

« Sérieusement, chaque fois que quelqu’un met ses photos de voyage dans le Sud sur Facebook, on a le goût de signaler son compte comme étant de la torture psychologique pure et simple! »

on a le goût de, we feel like
signaler son compte, to report his account

For the Québécois, un voyage dans le Sud is a trip to warmer climates south of Québec, like Mexico or Cuba.

They continue:

« Chaque fois qu’on a les deux pieds dans la sloche et les mains gelées, agrippant un grattoir pour déglacer le pare-brise de notre voiture, on n’a pas vraiment le goût de penser au fait que d’autres sont en train de boire un daiquiri en se faisant des mamours sur une chaise de plage… »

les deux pieds dans la sloche, both feet in the slush (sloche rhymes with poche)
un grattoir, a tool used to scrape ice off windows
on n’a pas vraiment le goût de, we don’t really feel like
se faire des mamours, to kiss and cuddle oneself

For those of you unfortunate enough to live somewhere hot all year round (sorry, I love the winter!), la sloche is this messy stuff.

[Quoted text by Les Justiciers masqués in “Accusés d’avoir étranglé une marmotte,” Métro Montréal, 8 February 2013, p. 13.]

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