Posts Tagged ‘tabarnak’

1. GARS (guy, bloke)

The masculine gars rhymes with the French words pas, cas, tas. In other words, don’t pronounce the rs on the end of gars. If you do, you’ll end up saying garce instead, which is a word for bitch.

2. TABARNAK! (fuck!)

It bears repeating because it’s a common misconception: the Québécois don’t swear by saying tabernacle; they swear by saying tabarnak. The swear word tabarnak comes from tabernacle, yes, but tabernacle is reserved for referring to an actual tabernacle. Pay close attention to the differences between the two words: tabernacle and tabarnak. The swear word tabarnak has an a in the middle (not an e), and there’s no le on the end.

3. LYS (lily)

French words are replete with silent letters, but lys isn’t one of them. The final s is indeed pronounced in lys. What’s more, with the way the vowel i is pronounced by Québécois speakers in this word, you’ll notice lys sounds rather like liss (i.e., to rhyme with the English words hiss and miss). So it’s fleur-de-lisss, not fleur-de-liii.

4. BARIL (barrel)

The final L of baril is silent — in Québec, at any rate.

Here are more words whose final L is silent:

5. PERSIL (parsley)
6. NOMBRIL (bellybutton)
7. SOURCIL (eyebrow)
8. FUSIL (firearm)
9. GENTIL (kind, nice)
10. OUTIL (tool)

The final L of sourcil isn’t pronounced, but the final L of this word is heard:

11. CIL (eyelash)

And finally:

12. GENTILLE (nice, kind)

The masculine gentil ends in a silent L, but how’s the feminine form pronounced? The ille part of gentille sounds just like the ille part of the French word fille.


Learn how words contract in spoken Québécois French (with audio): read Contracted French

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I heard someone say this on the radio recently:

On est en tabarnouche!

What does it mean?

The expression être en tabarnak is a vulgar expression meaning to be pissed off. Tabarnak is a swear word; to tone down the vulgarity of it, someone might say tabarnouche instead. The person who said the quote above didn’t want to swear on the radio, so she used tabarnouche instead:

On est en tabarnouche!
We’re peeved! (i.e., angry)

Of course, if you didn’t want to tone it down at all and wanted to swear, it would be:

On est en tabarnak!
We’re pissed off! (i.e., angry)

Check how you’re pronouncing on est en:

The liaison occurs twice in on est en, so in reality it sounds like on n’é t’en. Remember, with the liaison, it’s really the following word whose pronunciation is affected, not the first. In on est en, the pronunciation of on doesn’t change; it’s the pronunciation of est that changes — it’s pronounced né. Similarly, en is in fact pronounced t’en.

Put a pause where you see a slash below to make sure you’re saying it right:

on / n’é / t’en

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Just some random stuff to learn or review today…

1. Tant qu’à moi, c’est pas nécessaire.
In my opinion, it’s not necessary. Tant qu’à moi is often used in conversations in the same sense as quant à moi.

2. Tu parlais pas mal fort.
You were speaking pretty loud. Fort means loud when talking about volume. Pas mal is an intensifier.

3. J’en aurais pour la soirée à faire ça.
It would take me all evening to do that. J’en ai pour means it will take me when talking about time. J’en ai pour deux minutes. I’ll be two minutes. It’ll take me two minutes.

4. Y’est cheap en crisse.
He’s so damn cheap. Cheap can be used to call someone stingy. En crisse is a vulgar intensifier, like en estie and en tabarnak from #930. Crisse sounds much like the English name Chris, but with a French r. Y’est sounds like yé. It’s an informal pronunciation of il est.

5. Je fais ça aux trois semaines.
I do that every three weeks. Aux trois semaines means every three weeks. Similarly, aux trois jours, aux deux mois, etc.

6. Tu vas te faire pogner.
You’re going to get caught. The informal pogner means to catch, grab, nab, etc., so se faire pogner means to get caught. Remember, the g in pogner isn’t pronounced like a hard g. Pogner sounds like ponnyé.

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In the last post I said we’d take a look at the word une bibitte in an entry of its own — but I think we’ll do it as a mini-series instead. Here’s part 1.

Before all else, know that this word has spelling and pronunciation variants, like bibitte, bibite, bébitte, bébite. In quotes, I’ll use whatever variant the author used, and bibitte everywhere else.

J’haïs ça les bibittes… Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

1. Bugs!

The first thing to know about the feminine word bibitte is that it can be used to talk about bugs.

Here’s what a blog author had to say:

C’est le retour du beau temps, tout le monde s’en est aperçu. Mais qu’est-ce qui va de pair (malheureusement) avec l’été? Les *?&%$ de bibittes sales. Pis moi, j’haïs ça les bibittes, bon. Pas les moustiques ou les mouches noires. Nenon. Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

The nice weather is back, as everybody’s noticed. But (unfortunately) what comes with summer? Those *?&%$ nasty bugs. And me, I so hate bugs. Not mosquitos and black flies. No, no. I’m talking about those really long ugly-as-all-fuck insects.

In fact, there might be even more than just bibitte in that quote that’s new to you, like:

pis moi, and as for me
j’haïs ça, I hate that (j’haïs sounds like ja-i)
j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs
nenon, no no
longs de même = longs comme ça (imagine the author indicating the size of the bugs with her fingers and saying “this long,” longs de même)
laite, ugly (informal pronunciation of laid)
laite en tabarnak, fucking ugly

We can understand the *?&%$ in les *?&%$ de bibittes sales to stand for a swear word, like esti. So les esti de bibittes sales means fucking nasty bugs.

OK, so that’s the first usage of bibitte. If you want to remember just one thing from the quote, then remember this: j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs. Why is that ça in there? Just ‘cos, ok! J’haïs ça les abeilles. J’haïs ça les dentistes. J’haïs ça les arbres. Whatever! Don’t forget: j’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

Continue on to part 2.

Image credit: Espace pour la vie

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Wou-hou, check la madame, est toute énarvée!

Yes! Entry #800! I’m so excited!
J’suis tellement énervé!

Now there’s an expression that means the opposite of what you might expect…

In Québec, j’suis tellement énervé doesn’t have the negative meaning of “annoyed” or “irritated” like it does in France.

It has the positive meaning of “excited.”

Remember, je suis is very often pronounced informally as chu or chui.

I’ll use the spelling j’suis below to show these informal pronunciations.

J’suis tellement énervée, je tiens plus en place.
I’m so excited, I can’t keep still.

Je dors p’us, j’suis tellement énervé!
I can’t sleep anymore, I’m so excited! (P’us in informal pronunciation of the negative [ne] plus. It sounds like pu.)

Je capote, j’suis énervée, excitée…
I can’t calm down, I’m so excited…

J’suis toute énervée, là! J’ai plein de papillons!
I’m so excited! I’m all butterflies!

J’suis tellement énervé de partir.
I’m so excited to leave.

J’étais très énervé à l’idée de le rencontrer.
I was very excited at the idea of meeting him.

J’suis tellement énervée! J’me peux p’us! Maudit que j’ai hâte!
I’m so excited! I can’t take it anymore (can’t wait)! Damn I can’t wait!

In that last example above, j’me peux p’us is a contraction of je (ne) me peux plus and means essentially the same thing as j’ai hâte. The informal p’us sounds like pu.

You’ll remember that the Québécois pronounce â like “aww,” so hâte almost-sorta-kinda sounds like the English word “ought,” whereas in France hâte sounds more like the English word “at.”

J’ai hâte! J’me peux p’us!
I can’t wait! I can’t take it anymore!

J’me peux p’us… dans trois jours, je pars en vacances!
I can’t wait… in three days, I’m going on holiday!

Câline, j’me peux p’us, j’ai trop hâte de voir ça!
My goodness, I can’t take it anymore, I can’t wait to see it!

The expression je me peux plus can take on another sense: A woman asked online in a forum for pregnant mothers if she could take a quick dip in the pool on a hot day despite having a slightly detached placenta. Another woman responded with this advice for her on hot days:

Moi, j’ai toujours un pouche-pouche d’eau dans le réfrigérateur. Quand je me peux pus, je m’arrose de cette eau très froide et OH que ça fait du bien!

I always keep a spray bottle filled with water in the refrigerator. When I can’t take it anymore, I spray myself with the cold water and OH does it ever feel good!

Here, the idea behind je me peux plus is not being able to withstand any longer (and not “I can’t wait” like in the other examples).

Yes, un pouche-pouche is a spray bottle! Here, it’s used to talk about a spray bottle filled with water; it’s also used to talk about spray bottles filled with perfume. This funny term comes from the sound the spray bottle makes… pouche-pouche. 😀

And now I think this entry has officially gone off topic. We started with being excited and now we’re talking about… pouche-pouches!

P.S. Énarvé is a pronunciation variation of énervé. Pronouncing ar instead of er is more typically associated with older speakers (e.g., varte instead of verte). The exception to this is the ar sound in vulgar words, which can be heard in all age groups, like tabarnak, viarge, marde, as opposed to tabernacle, vierge, merde.

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