French Word of the Day: ‘Carrément’

French people use this word all the time but if you're wondering if it has anything to do with a square, it doesn't, so quickly find out what it means!

French Word of the Day: 'Carrément'
Why do I need to know carrément?
The nifty French word regularly crops up in conversation, often on its own as a reaction to something.
Once you know what it means, carrément is one of those colloquial French word you'll start using all time because it's so handy and it will effortlessly make you sound native.
So, what does carrément mean?
Carrément is an adverb that can loosely be translated into English as 'really', 'completely' or 'absolutely'. It can be used in a sentence or on its own, as it often is, often emphatically.
For example: 
Il est carrément fou! 'He's completely mad!'
Elles vont carrément faire ca? 'Are they really going to do that?'
Tu vas vraiment l'inviter a ta fête? Carrément! 'Are you really going to invite her to your party? Absolutely!'
It also means 'squarely' but you won't hear carrément used in this way nearly as often.
Where does it come from? 
The word is thought to have first appeared in French in the 13th century. 
In French a carré is a square and although carrément doesn't really have anything to do with this geometric shape, it is probably loosely related in the sense of square being a bold, solid shape.
Other than that, in French, if someone is described as being carré, this can also mean 'straightforward' or 'no-nonsense'. It's not hard to imagine how all these words derived from the word square.
More examples:
Il fait carrément chaud! 'It's really hot!'
Allez, vas-y carrément! 'Come on, just go for it!'
Les manifestants ont carrément defié la police. 'The protesters completely defied the police.'

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French Word of the Day: Doper

This French word does not have anything to do with one of Snow White’s seven dwarves, even if it might look like it.

French Word of the Day: Doper

Why do I need to know doper?

Because you may not have realised you can use this word in several different contexts.

What does it mean?

Doper roughly pronounced doe-pay – shares the same meaning as the English word “to dope” – in the sense that it means taking or giving a stimulant before a sporting event or competition. 

It doesn’t carry the English sense of ‘to sedate’, however, nor is it used as a nickname for marijuana. 

In French this word is not only used when describing an athlete who has resorted to unfair methods to win. In fact, you will see this word in many other contexts as well because doper also means to stimulate or boost something in a generic sense. 

If you open a business newspaper in France, you might see an article using doper in the headline – perhaps one that discusses how the government plans to stimulate a dying sector of the economy.

If you want a synonym for doper, you can still use the verb stimuler (to stimulate) or dynamiser (to rejuvenate).

And Snow White? In France she is Blanche Comme Neige and the dwarfs are Prof (Doc), Timide (Bashful) Atchoum (Sneezy), Joyeux (Happy), Dormeur (Sleepy), Grincheux (Grumpy) and Simplet (Dopey).

Use it like this

La France dispose d’un plan national pour doper une énergie renouvelable prometteuse : la géothermie. – France has a national plan to boost a promising renewable energy: geothermal.

Les récentes réductions d’impôts et certaines autres mesures prévues sont destinées à doper l’emploi. – The recent tax cuts and other measures planned are intended to boost employment.