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FRENCH LESSONS EVENTS & GIFTS

EN UN MOT | IN A WORD

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LCCN 4 - Photo Blog - En un mot -Vinaigre.png

If you're a student of French, I sincerely hope you've had the luck to experience a moment when for some reason, all of a sudden ça fait tilt*. As a lover of language, there's nothing I like more than when a word I've been using unthinkingly all my life takes on a whole new relevance thanks to my studies.

Take the example of the English word 'vinegar' for example. Have you ever paused to ponder its provenance? Probably not, I would venture.

However, when you look at the French word for it, vinaigre, it really does make a lot of sense. Most of you know the French word for 'wine': vin. But do you know what aigre* means? Oui, c'est ça*: sour. So vinaigre = sour wine. C'est logique, non?*

A further dig into wordreference.com turns up these beauties:

  • tourner au vinaigre - to turn sour (literally and figuratively)
  • un pisse-vinaigre - a sourpuss/grump
  • On n'attrape pas les mouches avec du vinaigre - You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Again, j'adore mon travail*.

 

*something clicks | *sour | *Yes, that's it | * It makes sense, doesn't it? | *I love my job