Sunday, 5 June 2011

Word of the Weekend

Accordéon.

In normal French, this means the same as it does in English. On Ascension weekend (bank holiday on Thursday + pont on Friday = 4 days anywhere but in Paris) it means one of these frustrating traffic jams where you slow down, pick up some speed, slow down again, pick up some speed, and one hour later you've travelled about 20km.

In close second place, and on the same theme, did you know that caisse is a slang word for a car? I didn't ( I thought it was bagnole, but maybe I'm just out of date) until spending a weekend in the country with Understanding Frenchman and 15 of his friends. Clearly he edits his French for me a bit too much the rest of the time!

So, far too many hours on the autoroute today but photos from the gorgeous Charente-Maritime coming soon!


2 comments:

  1. Ugh, I hate getting in and out of Paris!!

    And I use both caisse and bagnole - though less now that I'm outside of Bretagne since C speaks a much more bourgeois French and I don't really use slang with my customers that much. But there are also tons of other words for car (bahut, charette, etc), a lot of them coming from old-fashion vehicles. I guess it's kind of like how "borne" can also be used for kilometer - as in dix mille bornes.

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  2. Maybe it's a Breton thing? Most of Understanding Frenchman's friends are Breton and I can imagine that they have a particular affection for beaten-up cars out there! I've also heard him say "bahut", but for school, not for a car.

    And yes, we talked a lot about "bornes" during those 8 hours on Sunday afternoon!

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