Thursday, November 23, 2000

Wort des Tages: der Truthahn

der Truthahn  Turkey (bird)

  • Ich mag essen Truthahn, wenn es richtig gekocht wird.
    • I enjoy eating turkey when it is properly cooked.

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Wort des Tages: auftauen

auftauen: to defrost

  • Du musst den Truthahn auftauen bevor du ihn in den Ofen schiebst.
    • You have to defrost the turkey before putting it in the oven.

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

Wort des Tages: die Anspielung

die Anspielung: a hint

  • Manche Leute vertragen keine Anspielungen.
    • Some people just can't take a hint.

Monday, March 20, 2000

Wort des Tages: der Entwurf

der Entwurf: a draft, outline, version

  • Der erste Entwurf wird morgen fertig sein.
    • The first draft will be ready by tomorrow.

Sunday, March 19, 2000

Wort des tages: der Tausendfüßler

der Tausendfüßler: centipede

  • Da ist ein Tausendfüßler in der Badewanne!
    • There is a centipede in the bathtub!

Saturday, March 18, 2000

Wort des Tages: die Erkältung

die Erkältung: a cold (sickness)

  • Haben Sie etwas gegen meine Erkältung?
    • Do you have something for my cold?

Friday, March 17, 2000

Wort des Tages: unsicher

unsicher: insecure
  • Wenn es schneit, bin ich ein sehr unsicherer Fahrer.
    • I am a very insecure driver when it snows.

Thursday, March 16, 2000

Wort des Tages: das Gespräch

das Gespräch: the conversation
  • Das war ein interessantes Gespräch.
    • This was an interesting conversation.

Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Wort des tages: die Sorge

die Sorge: worry, anxiety
  • Ich mache mir Sorgen um dich.
    • I worry about you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Wort des Tages: der Grund

der Grund: reason

  • Kannst du mir einen guten Grund nennen?
    • Can you give me a good reason?

Monday, March 13, 2000

Wort des Tages: offen

offen: open, frank

  • Lass mich offen mit dir sein.
    • Let me be frank with you.

Sunday, March 12, 2000

Wort des Tages: möglich

möglich: possible

  • Ich glaube nicht, dass das möglich ist.
    • I don't believe this is possible.

Saturday, March 11, 2000

Wort des Tages: kurz

kurz: short

  • Sie trägt gerne kurze Röcke.
    • She likes wearing short skirts.


Friday, March 10, 2000

Wort des Tages: das Kino

das Kino: the movies

  • Hast du Lust, ins Kino zu gehen?
    • Do you fancy going to the movies?


Thursday, March 9, 2000

Wort des Tages: wohnen

wohnen: to live in

  • Ich wohne seit Jahren in Boston.
    • I have been living in Boston for years.

Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Wort des Tages: wegen

wegen: because of

  • Wegen des schlechten Wetters konnte ich dich nicht besuchen kommen.
    • Because of the bad weather I could not come to visit you.

Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Wort des Tages: veilleicht

vielleicht: maybe

  • Vielleicht komme ich später vorbei.
    • Maybe I will come by later on.

Monday, March 6, 2000

Wort des Tages: etwas

etwas: something

  • Ich habe etwas für dich.
    • I have got something for you.


Sunday, March 5, 2000

Wort des Tages: zurück

zurück: back, previous

  • Ich denke gerne an meine Schulzeit zurück.
    • I like reminiscing about my school days.

Saturday, March 4, 2000

Wort des Tages: deshalb

deshalb: therefore

  • Deshalb habe ich recht!
    • Therefore I am right!

Friday, March 3, 2000

un barrage

un barrage.  Obstacle disposé en vue de barrer un passage, en particulier cordon de police.

  • Le milieu défensif danois va manquer les matches de barrage de l'Euro 2016 de football face à la Suède après s'être coupé à la main en ouvrant un paquet.


Thursday, March 2, 2000

Wort des Tages: sonst

sonst: otherwise

  • Ich habe nur Gutes darüber gehört, sonst würde ich es mir nicht kaufen.
    • I have only heard good things about it, otherwise I would not buy it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2000

un défilé

Happy March!  The French word of the day is un défilé.  This means a parade, show, or march.
Ha!
  • La taille de la foule déterminera le nombre de policiers requis pour assurer le contrôle du défilé.
The size of the crowd will determine the number of officers required to keep control over the march.

Tuesday, February 29, 2000

geindre

Happy leap day!  The French word of the day is not année bissextile (I made that the word of the day on January 22 for some reason), but geindre.  This verb means to moan, groan, whine, or complain.
  • Le garçon commençait à geindre; né sur le 29 fevrier d'une année bissextile, il croyait que ce fait forcément veut dire qu'il ne pourrait jouir qu'une seule fête d'anniversaire chaque quatre ans.
The boy began to whine; born on February 29th of a leap year, he believed that this fact necessarily meant that he could enjoy only one birthday party every four years.

Monday, February 28, 2000

un galet

Today's word of the day is un galet.  It means a pebble.
  • Le petit garçon courait de-ci, de-là, emplissant ses poches de galets étranges, de coquillages extraordinaires et d’algues fantastiques.
The little boy ran here and here, filling his pockets with odd pebbles, extraordinary shells and fantastic bits of seaweed.

Sunday, February 27, 2000

enregistrer

The French word of the day is the verb enregistrer.  It means to register or record.
  • Il faut donner un nom au fichier et l'enregistrer sur le disque dur de l'ordinateur.
You must name the file and save it on the computer's hard drive.
  • L'album a été enregistré dans le plus grand secret entre juillet et octobre 2006. 
The album had been recorded in the utmost secrecy between July and October of 2006.

Friday, February 25, 2000

un aine

Today's word of the day is un aine, which means groin.  (Not to be confused with âne, which means ass. Ha!  A little polyglot wordplay there.)
  • Utilisez de la poudre de talc dans les plis cutanés et aux endroits où la peau se touche, comme les aisselles et l'aine.
Use talcum powder in skin folds or where skin touches skin, such as the armpits and the groin.

Thursday, February 24, 2000

l'acajou

Today's French word of the day is l'acajou. This masculine word means mahogany.
  • Son lit était grand, fait en acajou, couvert de draps de soie. 
His bed was large, made of mahogany, and covered with silk sheets.

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

le drap

Today's French word of the day is le drap.  It means bed sheet.
  • Jusqu'à ce que l'enfant reste au sec pendant la nuit entière, placez une housse de plastique entre le drap et le matelas. 
Until the child can stay dry the whole night, put a plastic cover between the sheet and the mattress.

Tuesday, February 22, 2000

un canapé

Today's French word of the day is un canapé.  It means a couch or sofa.
  • Elle a passé la journée installée dans le canapé bleu de son salon, devant la télé.
She spent the day lying on the blue couch in her living room, watching TV.

Monday, February 21, 2000

une paille

Today's word of the day is une paille, which means a drinking straw, or, as in English, straw as in dried grass.
  • Il y avait une paille en plastique fixée au dos de la brique de jus de fruit.
There was a plastic straw attached the back of the juice carton.
  • Le premier petit cochon se construit une maison de paille.
The first little pig builds a house made of straw.

une selle

Today's Francophone word of the day is la selle, which means saddle.  It can also mean stool, as in bowel movements.  En selle can mean seated or, more figuratively, established.
  • Il a met une selle en cuir noir sur le dos de son étalon fier.
He places a black leather saddle on the back of his proud stallion.

Sunday, February 20, 2000

l'apesanteur

Today's word of the day in French is l'apesanteur.  This word, which is feminine, means weightlessness.
  • A ce jour, aucune étude n'a été consacrée aux effets de l'alcool en apesanteur
No study has yet been devoted to the effect of alcohol in zero gravity.

Saturday, February 19, 2000

l'émail

Today's word of the day is l'émail.  It does not mean email!  It means enamel.
  • Ces bactéries digèrent le sucre en formant un acide qui attaque l'émail des dents. 
These bacteria digest sugar and form an acid which attacks tooth enamel.

Friday, February 18, 2000

un gland

Today the French word of the day is le gland, which means acorn.
  • Il y a un écureuil tenant un gland sur la branche la plus haute du chêne.
There is a squirrel holding an acorn on the highest branch of the oak.

Thursday, February 17, 2000

le lutin

The word of the day is le lutin, meaning goblin, sprite, or elf.
  • Le Père Noël nous a rendu visite accompagné de son lutin et a distribué des cadeaux à tous. 
Santa Claus visited us with his elf and gave out presents for all.
  • La confusion entre le lutin, le nain des pays germaniques, et l'elfe des pays scandinaves est fréquente.
There is frequent confusion between the goblin, the dwarf of Germanic countries and the elf of Scandinavia.

Wednesday, February 16, 2000

fugace

Today's word of the day is fugace.  It means sleeting, elusive.
  • Le philosophe ne s'attache qu'à la vie humaine mais, reconnaissant que tout, en elle, est fugace, il essaie de la vivre intensément.
The philosopher values nothing except human life but, recognizing that it is above all fleeting, he tries to live life intensely.

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

impliquer

Hello.  The Foggie word of the day is impliquer.  It is a faux ami -- that is, it looks cognate with implicate, but it does not usually mean that. It means to involve.  It can also mean to imply or implicate.
  • Son témoignage confirme nos priorités actuelles : prévention, arrêter la violence, éradiquer la discrimination, garantir les traitements et impliquer les hommes dans la planification familiale.
Her testimony confirms our current priorities: prevention, to stop violence, to eradicate discrimination, to guarantee treatment, and to involve men in family planning.
  • Le film raconte l’histoire du mystère dans lequel est impliqué un garçon de 15 ans, Josef, dont la famille est sauvagement assassinée dans sa maison de Stockholm, étant les seuls survivants Josef et sa soeur Evelyn qui était hors de la ville lorsque s’est produite l’abattage de sa famille.
The film tells the story of a mystery involving a boy of 15, Josef, whose family is brutally murdered in their Stockholm house, the sole survivors being Josef and his sister Evelyn who was not in the city when the attack on the family took place.

Monday, February 14, 2000

une esperluette

The word of the day is une esperluette, & it means ampersand.
  • Si vous voulez exploiter une variable dans le message, saisissez une esperluette pour la variable. 
If you want to use a variable in the message, enter an ampersand for the variable.

Sunday, February 13, 2000

les noix

Hey hey.  Today's word of the day is les noix.  This is a plural feminine noun meaning nuts.
  • En Côte d'Ivoire la collecte des noix de karité ainsi que l'extraction du beurre de karité est exclusivement une activité féminine.
In the Ivory Coast, the collections of shea nuts, as well as the extraction of shea butter, is exclusively women's work. 

Saturday, February 12, 2000

clapoter

The word of the day is the verb clapoter, which means splashing or lapping (as waves).
  • Les vagues continuant de clapoter à leurs pieds, les enfants couraient le long de la plage.
The waves continuing to lap at their feet, the children ran along the beach.
  • J'étais assis au bout de la jetée et je contemplais les eaux bleues clapotantes du détroit de Taiwan.
I sat at the end of the jetty and gazed into the choppy blue waters of the Taiwan strait.

Friday, February 11, 2000

le détroit

The Francophone word of the day is le détroit, which means a strait.
  • Un tunnel sous le détroit serait bon non seulement pour l'économie, mais aussi pour l'unité nationale.
A tunnel under the strait would be good not only for the economy, but for national unity as well.

Thursday, February 10, 2000

le skate

Hello.  The word of the day is le skate.  This means skateboarding.  A skateboard itself can also be called le skate or, in more antiquated and Académie style usage, une planche à roulettes.  (Skating is called le patinage.  Roller skating is called le roller or le patinage à roulettes).
  • La plupart des adeptes de skate ne considèrent pas leur discipline comme un sport à part entière, mais regardent la pratique de la discipline comme objet esthétique visuel aussi.
Most skateboarding aficionados don't think of their discipline entirely as a sport, but consider the practice as having an aesthetic visual goal as well.

Wednesday, February 9, 2000

la manchette

Hola.  Today's Francophone word is la manchette.  It can mean a headline, a cuff (in clothing), the strike in volleyball with the forearms (les manches).  Among other things.
  • Ils n'ont pas cherché à faire la manchette des journaux, mais ils ont écrit la véritable histoire de notre pays, le Canada.
They did not seek to make headlines, but they wrote the true story of our country, Canada.
  • Marie avait emporté le bouton de manchette en or que son amant a perdu dans la poche de sa robe du dimanche en soie noire.
Marie had carried the gold cuff link which her paramour had lost in the pocket of her fancy black silk dress.

Tuesday, February 8, 2000

la moelle

Bonjour ! Le mot du jour est la moelle.  It means bone marrow.
  • Passent encore les crottes sur les trottoirs, il faut bien que le chien se soulager, il faut apaiser la faim, mais rien qu'un os rongé, aux extrémités craquelées, vidé de sa moelle !
Passing by crap on the sidewalk, the dog had to tend to its basic needs, it had to appease its hunger, but nothing except a gnawed bone, its ends broken, emptied of its marrow!

Monday, February 7, 2000

l'ouïe

The word of the day is l'ouïe, which is feminine and means the sense of hearing.
  • Son ouïe, très fine ainsi que la conservent certains vieillards, lui laissa percevoir un bruit particulier, une sorte de grincement aigu.
His sense of hearing, very refined in the manner which certain old people maintain, let him perceive a particular noise, a sort of sharp squeak.

Sunday, February 6, 2000

le guidon

The word of the day in French is le guidon.  It means the handlebars of a bike.  It also means a banner or pennant.
  • Les premières guidons modernes ont été équipés sur les bicyclettes en 1885.
Bicycles were installed with the first modern handlebars in 1885.
  • Le héros tenait hissé à la tête de son grand mât le guidon bleu et or.
The hero kept the blue and gold pennant hoisted to the top of its tall mast.

Saturday, February 5, 2000

un courbe

The word of the day in français in un courbe.  This word, which is actually both masculine and feminine, means curve.
  • La plus belle courbe d’une femme est son sourire.
The most beautiful curve on a woman's body is her smile.

Friday, February 4, 2000

en tant que

Bonjour.  This time the word of the day is a phrase.  En tant que is a French conjunction that means as (that is, in the role of).
  • Il est ici en tant que touriste. 
He's here as a tourist.
  • Quelques heures avant de jouer pour la première fois devant son public en tant que numéro un mondial, il se blesse à la cuisse.
A few hours before playing for the first time in public as number one in the world, he injured his thigh.

Thursday, February 3, 2000

la lame

Hullo, the francophone word of the day is la lame.  It means a blade of a weapon (but also has all sorts of related meanings such as sheet, slat, blade or leaf of grass, strong wave, etc).
  • L'acier dans lequel était forgée la lame était un composite de plusieurs variétés de métal doux et dur.
The steel of which the blade was forged was an alloy of many varieties of soft and hard metals. 
  • La tempête fut violente, le ciel se chargea, et les lames battirent le littoral avec un fracas assourdissant.
The storm was violent, the sky filled with clouds, and high waves beat against the shore with a deafening noise.  [Jules Verne, The Fur Country]

Wednesday, February 2, 2000

le trac

Hello.  The word of the day is le trac, which means stage fright.
  • Tout le monde a le trac avant un moment important. 
Everyone feels nervous before an important moment.

Tuesday, February 1, 2000

l'haltérophilie

It's February!  The word of the day in French is l(a) haltérophilie.  It means weightlifting.
  • L'haltérophilie, un sport consistant à soulever des poids, fait partie des disciplines Olympiques les plus anciennes.
Weightlifting, a sport involving the raising of heavy pieces of metal, is among the oldest of Olympic disciplines.   

[I took some liberties with the original so it wouldn't sound quite so repetitive in English.]

Monday, January 31, 2000

ferroviaire

The word for the day is ferroviaire, from the Italian.  It means having to do with trains or the railway.
  • Le réseau ferroviaire de la Grande-Bretagne est exploité par plus de vingt compagnies.
More than twenty companies make use of Great Britain's railway network.

Sunday, January 30, 2000

une couleuvre

The word of the day is la couleuvre, which means grass snake or water snake.
  • Le reptile le plus courant en France est la couleuvre à collier, qui élit souvent domicile près des plans d’eau où elle trouve des grenouilles à manger.
The most commonly found reptile in France is the grass snake, which often chooses its habitat next to bodies of water where it can find frogs to eat.

Saturday, January 29, 2000

le noyau

The French word of the day is le noyau. It means the nucleus of a cell.  It can also mean pit or kernel, or, more figuratively, the center, core, or origin of something.
  • Il y a des fruits à pépins et des fruits à noyau.
There are fruits with seeds and fruits with pits.
  • Tout au centre de la planète se trouve un noyau solide contenant principalement du fer.
In the very center of the planet is a core made mostly of solid iron. 

Friday, January 28, 2000

une scolopendre

The word of the day in French is la scolopendre.  It means centipede.  Note from Wiktionnaire: La plupart des dictionnaire classiques donnent ce mot comme féminin, mais l'usage depuis le XXe siècle favorise plutôt le masculin, sans qu'il y ait toutefois une tendance tranchée.
  • Après avoir avalé un scolopendre vivant, une vipère s'est fait dévorer de l'intérieur par sa victime.
After having swallowed a centipede alive, a viper was devoured from the inside by its victim.

Thursday, January 27, 2000

le chandail

Guten Morgen!  Today's francophone word of the day is le chandail.  It means sweater or pullover.
  • Toutes les femmes s'habillent en mexicaines et les hommes portent chandails et bluejeans délavés. 
All the women wore Mexican style dresses and the men wore sweaters and faded jeans.

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

touffu

The French word for today is touffu.  It means bushy or thick (as in a beard, vegetation, or fog).
  • À un bout se tassait un petit village et à l'autre la jungle touffue s'abaissait rapidement vers les pâturages et s'y arrêtait net, comme si on l'eût tranchée d'un coup de bêche.
At one end stood a little village, and at the other the thick jungle came down in a sweep to the grazing-grounds, and stopped there as though it had been cut off with a hoe. [Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book]

Tuesday, January 25, 2000

le seuil

Today the French Word of the Day for today is le seuil.  It means: the threshold; that is, a slab of stone, wood, or metal at the base of a door; and the figurative meaning of that sense, as in the entry of a house, or the limit of something.
  • Ainsi la procession se rend jusqu'au seuil de la cathédrale pour en expulser les pénitents.
Thus the procession makes it way to the threshold of the cathedral to expel the penitents.
  • L'inconfort ressenti par une personne est relatif aux dépassements de certains seuils préétablis de tolérance à la tension.
The discomfort a person feels is relative to the passing of certain pre-established limits of tolerance to strain. 


Monday, January 24, 2000

le hérisson

Bienvenue!  Français!  Mot du jour!  Le hérisson.  Ce veut dire "hedgehog."
  • On ne présente plus le hérisson, ce sympathique animal au dos hérissé de piquants qui s'aventure tout près de nos habitations.
There is no need to introduce any further the hedgehog, that gentle animal with a back bristling with needles, who ventures close to where we live.

Sunday, January 23, 2000

les Pays-Bas

The French word of the day is les Pays-Bas, which is how your Frog refers to the Netherlands.
  • En 2007, puis en 2010, le gouvernement néerlandais a annoncé son intention de faire modifier la constitution afin que la langue néerlandaise soit reconnue comme la langue officielle des Pays-Bas.
In 2007, and again in 2010, the Dutch government announced its intention to modify the constitution so that the Dutch language would be recognized as the official language of the Netherlands.

Saturday, January 22, 2000

année bissextile

The French word of the day is année bissextile, which means leap year.  The etymology of this word is Latin.  It comes from words meaning "twice" and "sixth," because the leap day was inserted six days before the first day of March.
  • Toutes les années bissextiles tombent sur des nombres multiples de quatre, ou divisibles par quatre; ainsi les années 1768, 1772 , 1776, etc. , sont bissextiles.
All leap years are numbers that are multiples of four, or divisible by four; thus the years 1768, 1772, 1776, etc. are leap years.

Friday, January 21, 2000

un archet

Bonjour!  Today's word of the day (French) is un archet.  It means a bow, as used in music.
  • Le violoncelliste frotte la corde avec son archet pour la mettre en vibration. Ainsi excitée, la corde peut vibrer selon plusieurs modes.
The violinist strokes the strings with his bow to make them vibrate.  Thus stirred, the strings can vibrate in various tones.

Thursday, January 20, 2000

la rouille

Today's mot du jour is la rouille, which means rust.  It is also the name of a cold sauce used in soups, named of course for its reddish color.
  • La rouille est la substance de couleur brun-rouge formée quand des composés contenant du fer se corrodent en présence de dioxygène et d'eau.
Rust is a reddish-brown substance formed when alloys containing iron corrode in the presence of O2 and water.

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

une taie

Today's French word is une taie, which means pillowcase.  Most often it is not used alone, but seen in the phrase taie d'oreiller.
  • Les draps et les taies d’oreiller étaient de la plus belle toile et bordés d’une large dentelle.
The sheets and the pillowcases were of the finest cloth, bordered with wide lace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2000

la férule

Today's French mot is la férule.  It means a paddle of wood or leather for whipping.
  • Jadis, on croyait que la férule était l’outil le plus nécessaire pour le maître d'école ; aujourd'hui, les peines corporelles ont disparu de notre enseignement public.
In olden days, it was believed that a wooden paddle was the most important tool for a schoolmaster to possess; today, corporal punishment has vanished from our public education system.

Monday, January 17, 2000

jadis

The French word of the day is jadis.  It means of long ago, formerly.  This word's etymology is interesting. It comes from an old French expression "ja a dis," meaning roughly "it has been days."  Ja is a form of the modern word déjà, a stands for "il y a," and dis means "days," as in lundi, mardi, etc.
  • Cette ville a conservé sa splendeur de jadis.
This town has kept its former splendor.

Sunday, January 16, 2000

illico

The word of the day is illico.  It means right away, pronto, sur-le-champ.
  • Ou vous déguerpissez illico, ou je vous allonge définitivement sur place !
Either you clear out pronto, or I'll lay you out on the spot permanently!

Saturday, January 15, 2000

se heurter

The word of the day is (se) heurter.  It means to knock against, collide with, run into, entrer brusquement en contact.
  • Et juste avant de heurter le pilier du pont de plein fouet le mari répond à sa femme calmement, « J'ai l'airbag ».
And just before colliding head-on into the pillar of the bridge, the husband says to his wife calmly, "I have the airbag."
  • Sur le quai, les gens se pressaient et se heurtaient.
On the dock, people were rushing around and running into one another.

--

When you run into things, the impact hurts! Eh?

Friday, January 14, 2000

gaspiller

The word of the day is gaspiller.  It means to waste or squander.
  • En une semaine ils gaspillèrent les économies d’une année.
In one week they squandered a year's savings.

Thursday, January 13, 2000

faner

The word of the day is faner.  It comes from a Latin word for hay (le foin). It usually means to wilt.  It can also mean to toss or turn grass to dry it out.
  • Les fleurs commencent à se faner dès qu’elles sont cueillies.
The flowers began to wilt the moment they were picked.
  • L’herbe se fane quand on la laisse trop longtemps sur pied.
The grass wilts when left unharvested too long.

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

une empreinte

The word of the day is une empreinte.  It means imprint, track, trace.
  • Ces empreintes, dit le chasseur, étaient évidemment dues au passage récent d'une demi-douzaine de daims de grande taille.
These tracks, said the hunter, were clearly caused by the recent passage of five or six large bucks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2000

déblayer

The word for today is déblayer.  It means to clear away, or remove, dégager un lieu des choses qui l’encombrent.
  • Il faut déblayer le terrain avant de commencer à construire.
We must clear the terrain before beginning to build.

Monday, January 10, 2000

cabochard

The word of the day is cabochard.  It means pig-headed, stubborn, têtu.  It comes from caboche, meaning head, which is probably related to the English word "cabbage."
  • Vous êtes tellement cabochard qu’on ne peut pas vous déconseiller.
You are so very pig-headed that one cannot disabuse you.

Sunday, January 9, 2000

balader

The word of the day is (se) balader.  With the reflexive pronoun, se balader means to go for a walk.  Without it, the verb means to take (somebody) out for a walk.  It also means to carry (something) around, to cart around.
  • Elle se levait ordinairement vers les cinq heures du matin pour se balader dans un petit bosquet au bout de son jardin.
She typically arose around five in the morning to stroll around a small grove at the end of her garden.
  • Malgré son handicap, le jeune aventurier a baladé son fauteuil roulant sur tous les sept continents.
Despite his handicap, the young adventurer carted his wheelchair to all seven continents.

Saturday, January 8, 2000

à pois

The French phrase of the day is à pois.  It means spotted, or with spots.
  • La vedette est arrivée dans une robe blanche à gros pois noirs coupée courte juste au-dessus du genou.
The star arrived in a white dress with big black spots, cut short just above the knee.

Friday, January 7, 2000

coudoyer

Today's French word is coudoyer.  It means to mix with, rub shoulders with, get to know (someone).  It can also mean to strike someone on the neck (from the word le cou, neck).
  • Il est né pauvre, mais comme adulte il coudoie souvent le luxe effréné des hautes classes.
He was born poor, but as an adult he often rubs shoulders with the unbridled luxury of the upper classes.

Thursday, January 6, 2000

au pif

The phrase for today is au pif.  It means by chance, at a guess, par hasard. The word pif is slang for nose so it literally implies you are following your nose.
  • Il n'y a aucune garantie de succès - il faut aller au pif en croisant les doigts.
There is no guarantee of success - you must follow your instinct and cross your fingers.

Wednesday, January 5, 2000

abasourdir

The French word for today is abasourdir. It means to be stunned, shocked, amazed.  Is it related to sourd, deaf, as if it might mean, "struck deaf (with amazement)"?  It seems not to be.
  • Après y avoir pensé un peu, la jeune fille murmure: «Oui, j’aimerais être immensément riche». A l'instant même, sa chaise se change en or massif. Elle est abasourdie
After thinking about it for a moment, the young girl murmured, "Yes, I would like to be immensely rich." At that instant, her chair was transformed into solid gold.  She was stunned.

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

le cabri

The word for today is le cabri, meaning a young goat, a kid.

This word is found in St. Georges Brassens' amazing song, "Il suffit de passer le pont."

L'herbe est douce à Pâques fleuries
Jetons mes sabots, tes galoches
Et, légers comme des cabris
Courons après les sons de cloches

The grass is soft at Easter in full bloom. Let's toss off my rough clogs and your leather ones, and, light-footed as young goats, run after the sound of the bells.

Beautiful.

Monday, January 3, 2000

la cuillère

The word of the day is la cuillère.  It means spoon.  Is it related to cuire, to cook?  Yes, from a root that is also related to a word meaning snail.  It is a feminine word, because there is nothing more feminine than ladling up a family's dinner with a spoon.
  • Utiliser une cuillère pour donner une dose de sirop à un enfant peut être dangereux.
Using a spoon to give liquid medicine to children could be dangerous.

Sunday, January 2, 2000

horripilant

The word of the day is horripilant. While it looks as though it means horrifying, it does not. It means exasperating, aggravating, irritating.
  • Il n'y a rien de plus horripilant que d'essayer d'obtenir des informations vitales d'un Turc qui ne parle pas avec ses mains ; les mots coulent vers vous, vos oreilles se désespèrent de tant de non-compréhension, sans qu'il lui vienne à l'esprit que quelques gestes suffiraient.
There is nothing more exasperating than trying to get information from a Turk who does not use gestures while speaking; the words flow toward you, your ears despair from non-comprehension, without the idea ever coming to him that a few gestures would suffice.

Saturday, January 1, 2000

bonjour!

The word of the day is bonjour.

Literally the words for good (bon) and day (le jour) together, it means "good day" or "hello."
  • Êtes-vous le professeur de mon fils Georges?  Bonjour, ravi de vous rencontrer.
Are you my son Georges' teacher?  Hello, pleased to meet you.