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Posts Tagged ‘son chien est mort’

1. “He’s got bugs in the head.”

Someone with “bugs in the head” is someone who’s messed up in the mind. The expression here is avoir des bibittes dans la tête, which means to be messed up in the head, but translates literally as to have bugs in one’s head. Our too-literally-translated-into-English example he’s got bugs in his head is said in French as y’a des bibittes dans’ tête, where y’a and dans’ are colloquial contractions: y’a comes from il a, and dans’ comes from dans la.

Y’a des bibittes dans’ tête.
He’s messed up in the head.
Much too literally: “He’s got bugs in the head.”

2. “He’s in a real tabernacle.”

If you’re in a tabernacle — or better, in a real tabernacle — you’re royally pissed off. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get y’est en beau tabarnak. Y’est en sounds like yé t’en, which is a contraction of il est en. The expression here is être en tabarnak, with its variation être en beau tabarnak, both of which mean to be pissed off.

Joking aside, make sure you learn the difference between tabernacle and tabarnak. Tabernacle (with an e in the middle and le on the end) means tabernacle, an item associated with Catholicism. Tabarnak (with an a in the middle and k [or c] on the end) is a swear word deriving from tabernacle. The Québécois never say tabernacle to swear (the swear words are tabarnak or tabarnac) and never refer to the tabernacle as a tabarnak!

So, although, the English above reads much too literally as he’s in a real tabernacle, the Québécois aren’t really saying the equivalent of tabernacle when they use this expression, but a vulgar variant of it.

Y’est en beau tabarnak.
He’s totally pissed off.
Much too literally: “He’s in a real tabernacle.”

3. “He put the music in the rug.”

If the music is on so loud that the floor practically shakes, you can say the music is “in the rug.” Mettre la musique dans le tapis means to put the music on full blast. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get y’a mis la musique dans l’tapis. There’s y’a again, which we saw in number 1; it’s a colloquial contraction of il a.

Y’a mis la musique dans l’tapis.
He put the music on full blast.
Much too literally: “He put the music in the rug.”

4. “Your dog is dead.”

If you no longer stand a chance at something, your dog’s snuffed it. That girl you wanted to go out with but who’s going out with someone new now (and it isn’t you)? Yeah, your dog’s dead. You can forget about it. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get ton chien est mort. You can also say, depending on the context, mon chien est mort, son chien est mort, etc.

Ton chien est mort.
You can forget about it. You’ve lost your chance.
Much too literally: “Your dog is dead.”

5. “He’s gonna get himself christed out.”

If you’ve just been christed out at work, you just got your ass fired. Crisser quelqu’un dehors, you’ll remember, means to kick someone the hell out, to fire someone’s ass, etc. We looked at the expression crisser dehors here recently. The verb crisser in this sense derives from Christ, so this verb is a swear word. If we translate our too-literally-translated-into-English example back into French, we get y va se faire crisser dehors, which means he’s gonna get his ass fired, he’s gonna get the fucking sack, etc. Y here is a colloquial pronunciation of il, which contracts to i’ in spoken language.

Y va se faire crisser dehors.
He’s gonna get his ass fired.
Much too literally: “He’s gonna get himself christed out.”

Bonus: “Dechrist!”

This is our much-too-literal way of saying décrisse!, meaning fuck off! We looked at the verb décrisser in the same post linked to above in number 5.

Décrisse!
Fuck off! Piss off!
Much too literally: “Dechrist!”

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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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