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Posts Tagged ‘Usito’

The Québécois Usito dictionary contains a list of belgicismes (words and expressions used in Belgian French).

We’ve seen before how the names of the three meals of the day are the same in Québécois and Belgian French — le déjeuner (breakfast), le dîner (lunch) and le souper (supper).

I’ve picked 10 more items from the Usito list that can be heard in both Québécois and Belgian French according to the list’s author, Michel Francard.

The use of these words and expressions isn’t necessarily limited to Québécois and Belgian French. They may be heard in other French-speaking areas as well.

1. un banc de neige
a snowbank

2. jouer à la cachette
to play hide-and-seek

3. un camionneur, une camionneuse
a truck driver

4. une sacoche
a purse, handbag

5. à tantôt!
see you in a bit!

6. faire la file
to line up, queue up

7. avant-midi
morning (ex., dans l’avant-midi)

8. ennuyant
boring (ex., une conférence ennuyante)

9. d’abord
then, in that case (ex., vas-y d’abord, go ahead then)

10. goûter
to taste like (ex., ce vin goûte le vinaigre)

In the next post — shared Québécois and Swiss French words.

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Opération nid de poule

Opération nid de poule

I saw this vehicle in a Montréal street the other day. On the side, it says:

Opération nid de poule…
Operation Pothole!

Or as Rupert and Samantha would say:

Operation Hen’s Nest

The driver was using a large hose to blow the dirt and stones out of potholes so that they could be refilled.

According to the Usito dictionary from Québec, you can use the spelling nid-de-poule (with hyphens) or nid de poule (without hyphens).

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Bienvenue aux chialeux et aux chialeusesI saw this illuminated ad in the métro for the Petit Larousse 2014 from France:

Bienvenue aux
CHIALEUX et aux
CHIALEUSES.

The Larousse people are letting us know that these québécois usages have been added to the new edition of their dictionary.

Un chialeux is a nag, a complainer, a whiner. Chialeux and chialeuse are pronounced chiâleux and chiâleuse.

A blogger has this to say about himself:

Personne n’aime un chialeux. Sérieux là, même moi en me relisant, je me trouvais chiant.
Nobody likes a complainer. Like seriously, even I found myself annoying when I reread my writing.

The verb chialer (pronounced chiâler) means to complain, to whine.

The Usito dictionary gives us some examples:

Arrête de chialer!
Stop complaining!

chialer contre le gouvernement
to complain about the government

chialer sur tout et sur rien
to complain about anything and everything

Qui sont ces gens qui chialent?An Urbania article asks:

Qui sont ces gens qui chialent?

Jamais contents. Toujours en train de pleurer. Super blasés. Continuellement en train de se lamenter. Sur toutes les tribunes, dans tous les salons, pour un oui, pour un non, on les entend chialer tout le temps.

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Lucas wrote to me asking if the word gang is masculine or feminine in the French of Québec.

In spontaneous speech, it’s feminine: une gang. The pronunciation of gang in Québec sounds like its English equivalent “gang.” (In France, it sounds like “gong” and is masculine.) In the plural gangs, the s is silent.

If you come across the masculine form in Québec, it will probably be in writing rather than everyday speech.

If you’re interested in checking out an online dictionary of French produced in Québec, take a look at the dictionnaire Usito. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial version.

In this dictionary, we find lots of examples of how gang is used in the French of Québec, for example:

gangs de rue, street gangs
gang de motards, biker gang

… informally in the sense of “bunch”:

une gang de jeunes, a bunch of young people
une gang de touristes, a bunch of tourists
quelle gang de cochons!, what a bunch of pigs!

… in the sense of a group of friends:

il sort avec sa gang tous les soirs, he goes out with his friends every night

We also find the expressions en gang and toute la gang. For example, you can say things like une sortie en gang (an outing with friends) and une photo de toute la gang (a photo of the whole gang).

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