Secoue-toi les puces

French athlete Tessa Worley rocketed down the Grand Slalom slopes at Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the World Ski Championships this week, picking up a gold and bronze medal along the way. When her mother was interviewed, she described her daughter as “a little fairy on her silver skis.” She fondly stroked her daughter’s cheek and referred to her as “ma puce.” Now, I have a twenty-one year old daughter myself, so I can imagine the embarrassment this caused the young champion. A “puce” is a wonderful French word that means inch, thumb, computer chip, and flea! “Ma puce” is a term of endearment that means “my dear.”

Today’s expression, “secoue-toi les puces,” (suhcoo twa lay poose) literally means “shake up your fleas” and figuratively means “get a move on !” It’s a phrase that Tessa put into action today in her come from behind medal run.

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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