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Sale gosse, Stephen King

Sale gosse (Stephen King)

Janet points me to Stephen King’s new short story called Bad Little Kid in English. In French, the title was translated as Sale gosse.

Now that you know what gosse means in both Québec and France, do you think this title would have been chosen by a translator from Québec for readers in Québec? 😉

A “bad little boy” can also be said as méchant petit garçon in French.

For a québécois flavoured title, how about Le ti-cul qui tue? OK, too cutesy…

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Yesterday, on the OffQc Facebook page, I posted this image of a sign seen in the front window of a Tim Hortons restaurant in Montréal.

Boston, on va les manger.

Boston, on va les manger

If you weren’t sure of the meaning of this, you need to know that it refers to two things at once: beignes (donuts) and hockey.

The first meaning is a literal one: eating a donut called the crème Boston in French, or the “Boston creme” in English. This donut is filled with creme in the middle.

The second meaning is an allusion to hockey: that the fans of Montréal’s hockey team (le Canadien) will symbolically eat — and therefore beat — the team from Boston (les Bruins) by eating Boston cremes!

Related reading: Why are the Montréal Canadiens referred to in the singular in French? (#555)

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A little while back, we saw how the feminine word gosses means “balls” or “nuts” in Québec.

Remember, in France gosses are kids; nothing to do with testicles. In Québec, you won’t want to use gosses to talk about kids — not unless the kids you’re talking about are the ones that guys have between their legs.

An expression you’ll hear sooner or later in Québec using the feminine word gosse is: rien que sur une gosse.

What could this possibly mean?

J’ai sacré mon camp rien que sur une gosse.
I got the hell outta there right away.

Chu parti rien que sur une gosse.
I left really fast, as fast as I could, etc.

rien que sur une gosse
really fast, right away, etc.

When people speak informally, you know that certain sounds tend to get swallowed up.

You may hear the expression pronounced as: rien qu’s’une gosse (rienk sune gosse), or even ‘ien qu’s’une gosse (yienk sune gosse).

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‘Gosses’ are definitely not the same thing in Québec and France

If you missed my Facebook update yesterday pointing to a guest post I wrote on Benjamin’s blog French Together, be sure to take a look:

3 funny differences between French in France and in Québec

In that post, one of the things I wrote about was the difference in meaning on either side of the Atlantic of the word gosses.

In France, gosses means “kids” — as in those little people who pee their bed at night and throw spaghetti across the table at suppertime.

But, in Québec, gosses means “balls” — as in those two round things that men sport between their legs and are otherwise known as the family jewels.

Yikes, that’s quite a difference in meaning.

Imagine an angry French father who says:

Touche pas à mes gosses.

The French hear: “Hands off my kids.”
The Québécois hear: “Hands off my balls.”

Oh boy.

All joking aside, the Québécois are fully aware of the European meaning of the word gosses.

If a French person says gosses, his intention is understood by the Québécois, who’ll know he isn’t talking about testicles.

That said, gosses as a feminine noun really is the québécois equivalent for nuts or balls, so it’s best to stick with enfants when talking about kids in Québec.

It must sound funny to the French when they hear the Québécois refer to testicles as “the kids.”

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