French Word of the Day: divulgâcher

If you want to speak French with the full approval of the country's language guardians, you'll want to add this word to your vocabulary list.

French Word of the Day: divulgâcher
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Why do I need to know divulgâcher?
Many of the words we cover in our French Word of the Day series are the ones your teachers don't want you to say, often because they're considered slang, swearing or abbreviations. 
But if someone from the Academie Francaise is in the vicinity when you break out this word, you'll probably be given an official award for services to the French language right there on the spot. 
So, what does it mean?
Divulgâcher is a combination of the words divulguer ('to divulge') and gâcher ('to ruin'). 
It is a new word created in a bid to stop the French from using the word spoiler, taken from the English noun used to describe something that ruins a story/film etc. 
In French, spoiler is used as a verb but the Academie Francaise – the notoriously conservative organisation which deplores nothing more than the French adopting English words – hopes that divulgâcher will replace it. 

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French Expression of the Day: Faire la java

This expression is one to use if you see someone looking a bit worse for wear.

French Expression of the Day: Faire la java

Why do I need to know faire la java?

Because you might be looking for a different way to describe the fun times you had last weekend.

What does it mean?

Faire la java usually pronounced fair lah jah-vah – translates literally as ‘to do the java,’ which refers to a popular dance from the early 1900s in France. However, these days, the phrase is a synonym for the more popular phrase ‘faire la fête’ which means to party, usually involving alcoholic beverages and minimal amounts of sleep.   

In the 1910s to 1920s, when the java dance was popular, it was typically performed at big parties. It’s unclear where the term ‘java’ came from, as it has no connection with the island of Java. The dance itself was quite scandalous at the time, and it was seen as overly sensual and risqué. Though the dance fell out of practice in the 1950s, the phrase remained in use, which is why you’ll probably still hear French people, especially those of the older generation, talking about their wild times ‘faisant la fava.’ 

If you’re curious what the dance was like, here is a clip:

Use it like this

J’étais tellement épuisée quand je me suis réveillée ce matin parce que hier soir on a fait la java. – I was so exhausted when I woke up this morning because last night we partied.

Mes voisins aiment faire la java, ce qui serait bien, mais ils font tellement de bruit les soirs de semaine. – My neighbours love to party, which would be fine, but they make so much noise on weeknights.