Category Archives: French Vocabulary

Neuf et nouveau

I recently had a French mystery explained for me, the difference between neuf and nouveau, both of which mean “new.” I’ve been reading Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, where all was explained. … Continue reading

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QG

I’ve been following the French election with great interest. On the news, they kept referring to the “Koo Jay” of each party and it took me a while to realize that they were saying QG. This refers to le quartier … Continue reading

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Cannes de serin

It’s finally spring in New England. That means that the students at my school have swapped pants and coats for short shorts and shorter skirts, putting a lot of leg on display. Cannes de serin (kan duh sare-ahn) is slang … Continue reading

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Calcéophilie

I came across a new French word recently that applies to me – calcéophilie (kal-say-o-phil-e). This is a relatively new hybrid, derived from Latin and Greek. Calceo means “shoe” in Latin and phile is “love” in Greek. So calcéophilie is … Continue reading

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Trimballer

Trimballer (trahm-ball-ay), also spelled trimbaler, means to lug or cart about. Everywhere you go in France, someone is lugging their groceries, school books, or existential dissertation in a Longchamp Le Pliage, the origami inspired folding bag. It comes in a … Continue reading

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En goguette

I came across a new word on the Mode Personnel(le) blog that I follow.  The context was how to incorporate a classic vintage bag, like the Hermès Kelly, into a normal wardrobe. The person writing for help lamented, “…j’ai vite … Continue reading

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Sans état d’âme

For years, I’d heard the expression sans état d’âme (sahnz ay-tay dam) without realizing what it really meant or how it was written. It was only when I recently saw it written that the penny dropped. Sans = without, état = state, and d’âme … Continue reading

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