• You were born after 1980 and have your own "dialect". Same in the U.S. So if you hear one of the following words, you've got a chance to be talking to a "millennial":

    - adulting is the new word for growing up (less dramatic, I suppose !)

    - bigly is a synonym both of large and largely ; originally a mediaeval word, it's been revived recently by ... millennials  !

    - cool is what you like (you also say "phat" or "hip"; Fr. génial)

    - For "refiler, vendre" you often hear "to flog" these days ...

    - gaslighting initially refers to scare tactics (like when you move a gaslighter close to someone's face to make them speak out); now a trendy word for intimidating.

    - Phats are simply any members of the opposite sex (from Pretty Hot And Tempting; Fr. canon, bombe)

    - rad is really cool (Fr. génial, chanmé)

    - savage is neither wild nor uncivilized. Simply a synonym of daring, willing to take a risk.

    - a scrub may sound disgusting to conservative English speakers' ears ! Originally it's a gamers' term to describe an unqualified beginner (= newbie / Fr. novice, blaireau) now someone who does things badly.

    - it sucks means you don't like it at all (Fr. "c'est nul")

    - careful with "tight" it has so many different meanings, even among millennials : a synonym of cool, hip, fashionable, it also translates "serré (for jeans), radin"; and, particularly in NYC, it means "mad, irritated" ("made me tight, il m'a foutu en rogne").

    - Word is a typical millennial equivalent to 'Yes' ("Will you be round here this afternoon ? - Word")

    Lucky millennials, who won't be older than 37 this year ... Happy birthday to you all !

    Credits : Many thanks to John Brandon, Contributing editor, Inc.com  


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  • Classified crossings (Fr. passages pour piétons):

    - zebra crossing : passage piétons traditionnel, la chaussée est zébrée de bandes de peinture blanche (ou jaune); parfois encore appelé "passage clouté" en français;


    - pelican crossing : passage décalé, avec un refuge au milieu de la chaussée; souvent accompagné d'une commande presse-bouton;

    - puffin-crossing : le sol du trottoir est muni de capteurs pour détecter si des piétons attendent; les panneaux lumineux sont à côté du piéton et non de l'autre côté de la chaussée.


    - toucan-crossing (= two can) la traversée est autorisée aux piétons et aux cyclistes.



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  • I hear very strange things over here about the meaning of presidential candidates' and the winner's surnames. Remember "trump", whether a name or a surname, has nothing to do with the French "trompe". So, let's make a clear list:

    - a trump is "un atout", in a game of cards ("a trump card"); the word has become a verb (to trump = couper), so that "she'll trump them all" could be translated into "elle les surpassera tous". Note that today it sounds more correct in the masculine. In American slang, it is also an unwanted sound (French, "un pet / péter")

    - Clinton in standard English is either a place name or a family name. In U.S. American slang it refers to an improper behaviour with women. Johnson, McMullin, are also family names (Gary Johnson, Evan McMullin); In Irish Gaelic, mullain means "downs (collines)", in Scottish Gaelic  it refers to a stack ("meule", "empilement" )

    - stein (Jill Stein), is originally a German word; in Britain it corresponds to a beer mug ("une chope (de bière)".

    - sanders are tools used in woodwork (French "ponceuses")

    - castle (Darrell Castle) is of course "un château".

    By the way, "une trompe (d'éléphant)" is a trunk -- a word which also translates into "tronc / malle / maillot de bain"; une défense (d'éléphant)" is a tusk (also the name of the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk ..)

    Last but not least : first names do not always suit the person like, for President Trump, Pluto would have been better than Donald. Indeed "Pluto" in US.American slang is somebody who's been fast promoted at work, but has soon been demoted (Fr.: rétrogradé) because he's not up to the standard of his new job, (like the planet, Pluto - not a planet any more !)



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  • That's the name (some would call it an insult) the famous Hollywood film star Sean PENN has been called recently. Remember he was to have an interview with "El Chapo", but the police who made the most of this information managed to track down the Mexican drug lord and arrest him. So Penn was a lynchpin (Fr.: cheville ouvrière) in the capture, although he took pains to avoid being located, like using a burner phone* while communicating with El Chapo. 

    Look at this page from USA Today,  just after the Golden Globe ceremony (Jan. 10, 2016):

    Ricky Gervais calls Sean Penn a snitch over 'El Chapo'

    Jaleesa M. Jones, USA TODAY 9:23 p.m. EST January 10, 2016
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    "Love me or hate me, it's still an obsession." —Ricky

    "Love me or hate me, it's still an obsession." —Ricky Gervais, probably (Photo: Valerie Macon, AFP/Getty Images)

    Listen, Ricky Gervais knows some of you don't particularly care for his brand of comedy, but honestly, he's just here so he won't get fined.

    “I want to do this monologue, then go into hiding," he said in his opener for the 73rd annual Golden Globes, adding, "Not even Sean Penn will find me. Snitch.**”


    (* burner phone : A phone - typically prepaid - that's used temporarily and then disposed of, a.k.a "burned". Usually a cheap flip phone, either bought for cheap at a convenience store, or got online since there's now literally an app called Burner.)

    (** French : "une balance")

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