Briser la glace


My own Galerie de Glaces in the guest bathroom

La glace (lah glas) means several diverse things: ice cream, ice, and a mirror. Briser  (bree-zay) means to break. Recently, I read a great story on My Little Paris. Apparently, Alfred Jarry , a symbolist writer from the beginning of the 20th century, was dining at La Closerie des Lilas (a favorite restaurant of Ernest Hemmingway). Seated next to him was a lovely young lady who was ignoring him totally. Jarry pulled his revolver from his pocket and shot the mirror opposite him. Now that he had the young lady’s attention, he said, “Maintenant qu’on a brisé la glace, on peut causer,” which punily means both “Now that we’ve broken the ice (or the mirror), we can chat.” Gotta love a guy with a sense of humor, but the revolver would really kill the mood for me.

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.
This entry was posted in French Vocabulary, Idioms and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Briser la glace

  1. Haha. I wouldn’t like the revolver either, but the guy sure would have my attention, too.

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