À cheval

249C75EB-FA7F-4F41-A17E-D0DBBBE66074I continue to work through the backlog of unread books so that I’ll be able to buy new ones with a clear conscience. I bought Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul, by Charles Timoney, back when Borders books was selling off its inventory. Timoney is an English attorney married to a French woman. They decided to relocate permanently to Paris and Timoney found himself perpetually at a loss when his school boy French proved inadequate to the conversation. He created this humorous guide, divided by theme and in alphabetical order, to aid others. I knew most of the expressions, but still got a chuckle out of his witty explanations and illustrations. Did you know that while à cheval  (ah shev-ahl) technically means “on horseback,” when applied to food it means “with a fried egg on top”? That’s really not the type of meaning you could simply intuit, and Timoney’s guide has many more such expressions. What’s a French expression that confused you?

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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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