Monthly Archives: May 2012

Chercher la bagarre

Chercher : to search (for), to look for: Chercher la bagarre : Literally: To search for a fight: To be looking/spoiling for a fight. Chercher la petite bête : Literally: To look for the little beast: To split hairs. Chercher … Continue reading

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‘Tennis’ et ‘baskets’ (shoes)

“Il ouvrit son placard pour en sortir une vieille paire de tennis : he opened his cupboard to take out of it an old pair of….what??” I had to ponder ‘tennis’ for a while before I remembered that ‘tennis’ and … Continue reading

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Paul Claudel v. Charles Maurras

Paul Claudel finally makes it to the Academie Française but not before a fight with Charles Maurras had been settled by the latter being expelled from the Academy after a trial condemned him to a lifetime’s hard labour. Their quarrel … Continue reading

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‘Nos parents’ par Simon Parke

Stav and his parents: Note: ‘un parent’ in French can be a relation as well as a parent. And when Stav talks of his parents, it’s with respect, certainly, but also with distance – as one who finds himself unable … Continue reading

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Se casser la figure

Jean-Pierre last week emailed his English friends to say: “Marguerite (sa femme – his wife) est tombé dans l’escalier et elle s’est ‘casser la figure’”. We could see that ‘tomber dans l’escalier’ meant to fall down the stairs. But when … Continue reading

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Un cheval de Troie

Cette ruse consiste à infiltrer une place pour la détruire de l’intérieur : This ruse consists of infiltrating somewhere in order to destroy it from the inside. “Ulysse qui vient à nous, qu’aura-t-il inventé Pour être aux premières loges sans … Continue reading

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French election

A huge ‘Bravo !’ to François Hollande, socialiste, for returning the ‘socialistes’ to power in France, and for ousting right-wing spendthrift Nicolas Sarkozy and his ex-model “Dahling, I’m a femme fatale” wife Carla Bruni. Today is a short entry – … Continue reading

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Sixes and sevens

Two more French phrases: Se mélanger les pinceaux : Literally: To muddle one’s paint brushes: To be at sixes and sevens. Avoir les yeux plus grand que l’estomac : Literally: To have eyes larger than one’s stomach: To bite off … Continue reading

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‘Stav et la joie’ by Simon Parke

Stav brings us ‘a little joy’: Stav is a deputy manager, sure. But he’s also the comic, the gagmeister, the roving entertainer bringing a little joy to our sad lives. He is the elusive pimpernel of comedy, now you see … Continue reading

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Les carottes sont cuites

Three “cheerful” expressions today: Aujourd’hui en chair, demain en bière : Literally: Today in the flesh, tomorrow in the coffin: NOT: Today in a chair, tomorrow in beer (two false friends here): Here today, gone tomorrow. Les carottes sont cuites … Continue reading

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