Monday, December 11, 2006


Those crazy frogs are at it again. Here's what they're saying ... and why (according to advanced etymological theories courtesy of yours truly).

Crazy French Expression: Purée!
Meaning: damn!/heck!/a nicer way of saying Putain! (F—k!)
Literal Meaning: mashed potatoes
Leffler's Etymological Theory: "I'm so upset I feel like someone mashed me up … like a potato!"

Crazy French Expression: Oh, la vache!
Meaning: wow! Gosh!
Literal Meaning: Oh, the cow!
Leffler's Etymological Theory: In France, cows are exciting animals. Thus, seeing a cow begets feelings of exclamation and bewilderment.

Crazy French Expression: Il pleut comme vaches qui pissent.
Meaning: It's raining cats and dogs/ It's pouring.
Literal Meaning: It's raining like peeing cows.
Leffler's Etymological Theory: French cows urinate with intensity.

Crazy French Expression: Parler français comme une vache espagnole.
Meaning: To murder the French language.
Literal Meaning: To speak French like a Spanish cow.
Leffler's Etymological Theory: Spanish cows don't speak very good French. (I'll be sure never to take a cow named Fernando to dinner in these parts.)

And enough with the cows…What is with these people and their cows? They do make good cheese though, I guess I can't complain. Anyway ...

Crazy French Expression: Avoir la gueule de bois.
Meaning: To have a hangover.
Literal Meaning: To have a face of wood.
Leffler's Etymological Theory: If you've ever had too much French wine, you know what they're talking about.

Crazy French Expression: Avoir un chat dans la gorge
Meaning: To have a frog in one's throat.
Literal Meaning: To have a cat in one's throat.
Leffler's Etymological Theory: In France, frogs legs are a delicacy so lots of people literally do have frogs in their throat all the time. Cats, however, are more rare. Or, perhaps, French people have larger throats so a tiny little frog won't make one hoarse – it takes a large feline.

Crazy French Expression: Faire une galette.
Meaning: To vomit.
Literal Meaning: To make a pancake.
Leffler's Etymological Theory: French people vomit on their pancakes.

That's all for today, stay tuned for CRAZY FRENCH EXPRESSIONS: Part Deux. With Parts Trois, Quatre and maybe even Cinq to follow. Hey, Stallone just came out with another Rocky movie, eet eez posseebull.


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Fiona said...

Ah, formidable!

Malheureusement c'est parle cette langue comme une vache espagnole!

GwenEllyn said...

Just an addition - avoir la gueule de bois - la gueule is not just a face, it is the face of an animal, like a dog or wolf.