Merde Encore!: More of the Real French You Were Never Taught at School

Overview

Sacre Bleu!!!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the café...
For those of you who delighted in Geneviève's deliciously naughty first book, Merde!, and for those unfortunate few who have not yet had the pleasure...Geneviève is back with Merde Encore!
Here the inimitable Geneviève makes further fabulous forays into French argot and comes up with an enormous range of colorful idioms, essential for ...

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Merde Encore!

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Overview

Sacre Bleu!!!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the café...
For those of you who delighted in Geneviève's deliciously naughty first book, Merde!, and for those unfortunate few who have not yet had the pleasure...Geneviève is back with Merde Encore!
Here the inimitable Geneviève makes further fabulous forays into French argot and comes up with an enormous range of colorful idioms, essential for anyone who wants to speak the language as it really is spoken. As an additional treat, she also gives instructions in the correct use of impassioned Gallic gestures — those silent but expressive signals so beloved of the French motorist and shopkeeper. And, most important, she reveals how the French language, both spoken and visual, is a key to the spirit and character of the people who use it. With infectious humor, she exposes the idiosyncratic attitudes that have produced so great a wealth of vivid expressions.
So now discover how the French really feel about sex, food, la belle France, foreigners, hygiene, death...Merde Encore! may confirm what you've always suspected.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684854281
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 12/9/1998
  • Series: Sexy Slang Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 635,888
  • Product dimensions: 0.28 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Geneviève lives in Switzerland.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Before reading this book, you should have digested or at least nibbled at the contents of its predecessor, MERDE! The REAL French You Were Never Taught at School. It's not just that I want you to buy both books ("cela va sans dire"), but I shall at times in this book assume knowledge acquired in the first.

To give newcomers to our linguistic venture a hint of the value of our previous study, think of the importance of possessing "merde" in your vocabulary. People who have changed the course of history have used it, so why should you lose out on such great moments as when Napoleon told Talleyrand, "Vous êtes de la merde dans un bas de soie" (You're shit in silk stockings)? Surely you know of the moment of the word's apotheosis when General Cambronne, having been called upon to surrender at the battle of Waterloo, yelled it out to the British forces, thus immortalizing the five-letter word known ever after as "Le mot de Cambronne."

Now, if you enjoyed MERDE! and, with it, finally broke the code of those French conversations which had always eluded you, restricted as you were to the French you were fed at school, you will have appreciated the fact that language is not just an accumulation of words but also a key to the spirit and to the character of the people who speak it. You will also, I hope, have had a good laugh in the process. What I offer here is further exploration of colloquial vocabulary and idioms and, through them, deeper insights into the French psyche. French idioms are often very funny, based as they are on concrete and colorful imagery. I'll give you a few examples just to arouse your interest.

Picture this: "enculer les mouches," a priceless image. As you may remember from MERDE!, that translates as "to fuck a fly's ass," an image meaning "to nitpick, to split hairs," but how much more colorful than the English translation. So there will be elements of scatology in this book (hurray!), but you must learn to accept that urino-anal imagery, so frequently used by the French, is not necessarily rude. For example, there are two perfectly ordinary and acceptable names for colors which are in the above-mentioned genre:

1. "couleur caca d'oie" means literally the color of goose shit yet is a normal description for a yellowish-green hue, and if Zola can use it in his books, why shouldn't it be part of your vocabulary?

2. "une couleur pisseuse" (literally, a urinelike color) means a wishy-washy, insipid color.

One more splendid expression, while we're on the subject, to illustrate the concrete nature of many French idioms: "autant pisser dans un violin" (literally, one might as well piss in a violin) is used to express frustration, lack of progress, banging one's head against a brick wall. Finally, to show that the visual brilliance of French idioms does not depend merely on excretion: "sucrer les fraises" (literally, to sugar the strawberries) describes someone, usually an old person, who has the shakes. Can't you just picture the movement of a hand shaking sideways as it would when sprinkling sugar over strawberries?

Copyright © 1986 by Geneviève Edis

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Table of Contents

Contents
Introduction
I Verbs:
The nouvelle conjugaison
The Moi-je Syndrome
'Code' Conjugations
II Suffixes:
Instruments of contempt and belittlement
III Les Beaux Gestes:
French sign language
IV Guillotined French:
From aristo to socialo
V Counting in French:
Some numbers are more equal than others
Un, Deux, Trois...
The Frogclock
VI Sound Effects:
Gurgle, splash, hiccup!
VII The Most Popular Ingredients of French Idioms:
Food and animals
Yum Yum, Dribble Dribble
That Yukky French food
Animals' Names Taken in Vain
Animalspeak
VIII Anatomy of a Frog:
A study of vital organs
The Liver
The Nose
The Tongue
"Le Derrière"
Other Organs: A Linguistic Potpourri
Frog Pathology
Medicine
Hygiene
Death
IX Appee Beurzdé Tooh Yooh:
Franglais as she is spoke
X Allons Enfants:
Kids and kiddie talk
The Au Pair's Guide to Kiddle Talk
"Le Français méprise la jeunesse"
XI The Cocorico Syndrome:
Roosters rule ok
A cocorico note: Frogs on wheels
XII Geography À la Française:
A linguistic study
Professor Franchouillard's Geography Lesson
Notes on the Natives
Gallus lutetiae snobinardus
Gallus lutetiae intello-snobinardus
Provincial brethren
XIII Your Ph.D. Exam

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Introduction

Introduction

Before reading this book, you should have digested or at least nibbled at the contents of its predecessor, MERDE! The REAL French You Were Never Taught at School. It's not just that I want you to buy both books ("cela va sans dire"), but I shall at times in this book assume knowledge acquired in the first.

To give newcomers to our linguistic venture a hint of the value of our previous study, think of the importance of possessing "merde" in your vocabulary. People who have changed the course of history have used it, so why should you lose out on such great moments as when Napoleon told Talleyrand, "Vous êtes de la merde dans un bas de soie" (You're shit in silk stockings)? Surely you know of the moment of the word's apotheosis when General Cambronne, having been called upon to surrender at the battle of Waterloo, yelled it out to the British forces, thus immortalizing the five-letter word known ever after as "Le mot de Cambronne."

Now, if you enjoyed MERDE! and, with it, finally broke the code of those French conversations which had always eluded you, restricted as you were to the French you were fed at school, you will have appreciated the fact that language is not just an accumulation of words but also a key to the spirit and to the character of the people who speak it. You will also, I hope, have had a good laugh in the process. What I offer here is further exploration of colloquial vocabulary and idioms and, through them, deeper insights into the French psyche. French idioms are often very funny, based as they are on concrete and colorful imagery. I'll give you a few examples just to arouse your interest.

Picture this: "enculer les mouches," a priceless image. As you may remember from MERDE!, that translates as "to fuck a fly's ass," an image meaning "to nitpick, to split hairs," but how much more colorful than the English translation. So there will be elements of scatology in this book (hurray!), but you must learn to accept that urino-anal imagery, so frequently used by the French, is not necessarily rude. For example, there are two perfectly ordinary and acceptable names for colors which are in the above-mentioned genre:

1. "couleur caca d'oie" means literally the color of goose shit yet is a normal description for a yellowish-green hue, and if Zola can use it in his books, why shouldn't it be part of your vocabulary?

2. "une couleur pisseuse" (literally, a urinelike color) means a wishy-washy, insipid color.

One more splendid expression, while we're on the subject, to illustrate the concrete nature of many French idioms: "autant pisser dans un violin" (literally, one might as well piss in a violin) is used to express frustration, lack of progress, banging one's head against a brick wall. Finally, to show that the visual brilliance of French idioms does not depend merely on excretion: "sucrer les fraises" (literally, to sugar the strawberries) describes someone, usually an old person, who has the shakes. Can't you just picture the movement of a hand shaking sideways as it would when sprinkling sugar over strawberries?

Copyright © 1986 by Geneviève Edis

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    interesting but not enough depth/information

    First of all the editorial review doesn't accurately describe it. There are many topics not covered in this book, and some only briefly covered. I had high expectation of it, hoping it would be a decent guide, but it turned out to be a big farse and some laughs. Quite amusing book, but just do not have enough depth/information.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2003

    Expose yourself to zee seedy underbelly of zee langue français!!!!

    This is an excellent, as well as entertaining, learning tool - lots of colorful new expressions, idioms, and gestures that I was never taught in 5 years of French class. I can't wait until my upcoming trip to France when I can try out my *ahem* expanded vocabulary!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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