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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: raplapla

This unusual French word is just what you need to describe something that isn't at its best.

French Word of the Day: raplapla
Photo: Depositphotos
Why do I need to know raplapla?
 
You can use this funny sounding French word to describe old objects, bread, your hair or even yourself, on a bad day.
 
What does raplapla mean?
 
Raplapla is an informal adjective that means ‘worn out’, ‘tired’ or ‘flat’.
 
It’s thought to have evolved from either the expression être à plat, meaning ‘to be tired’, or replati, the past tense of the verb replatir, meaning ‘to level’ or ‘flatten out’.
 
As this word is an adjective, it’s often used with the verb être, meaning ‘to be’, for example je suis raplapla (I am worn out). 
 
But it is also commonly used with the verb sentir, meaning ‘to feel’, for example il se sent tout raplapla aujourd’hui (he feels completely exhausted today.)
 
Raplapla can be used to describe things as well as people. 
 
In this case it’s normally used for something old and worn out, such as le matelas est tout raplapla (the mattress is all sunken.)
 
Or you could also use it to describe something that is a bit flat and lifeless, for example mes cheveux sont raplaplas (my hair is flat and tired looking).
 
Alternatives
 
Some alternatives for raplapla, which are less enjoyable to say, include épuisé (exhausted) and sans énergie (without energy).
 
How can I use it?
 
Je me sens tout raplapla. – I feel completely worn out.
 
Un pain confectionné uniquement avec de la farine de châtaignes risque d’être raplapla car il est sans gluten. – Bread made only with chestnut flour could turn out flat because it’s gluten-free.
 
(The examples above come from wordreference.com)
 
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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: C’est le box

This French expression has little to do with storage devices.

French Expression of the Day: C’est le box

Why do I need to know c’est le box?

Because you might have described your adolescent bedroom this way.

What does it mean?

C’est le box roughly pronounced say luh box – comes from the longer expression c’est le boxon, and does not have to do with a container to store things. In reality, c’est le box means either literally or figuratively that something is a mess or disaster.

It is a synonym for the more commonly used French expression c’est le bordel

Both are slang terms that border on being vulgar, are originally references to brothels, and describe disorder or disarray.

The word boxon first appeared in the early 1800s in the form of bocson, which meant cabaret and later “house of tolerance”. Its origins are disputed, but over the past two centuries it has come to be synonymous with a “place of debauchery” and later messiness and disorder.

You can also say “Quel box!” or “Quel Boxon!” to mean “What a mess!” or “What a disaster!”

If you are looking for a less vulgar way to describe a mess, you could instead say “c’est le bazar”.

Use it like this

C’est quand la dernière fois que tu as nettoyé ta chambre ? C’est le box ici. – When was the last time you cleaned your room? It is a disaster in here.

Je ne suis pas la seule personne qui pense que c’est le boxon dans cette ville en ce moment. – I’m not the only person who thinks this city is a mess right now.

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