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French word of the Day: Bouder

Not getting your own way? You might need to prepare to bouder.

French word of the Day: Bouder

Why do I need to know bouder?

Well hopefully you will be above such childish behaviour yourself, but it's a handy word to apply to others.

What does it mean?

It means to sulk. So if you're having a strop or you know someone who is, now you have the perfect word to describe it.

Il n'a pas obtenu ce qu'il voulait à la réunion alors il est parti bouder dans le coin – He didn't get his way in the meeting so he's gone off to sulk in the corner.

Il boude comme un enfant à cause de sa dernière défaite au Parlement – He is sulking like a child over his latest defeat in Parliament. 

As well as using the verb to describe someone who is sulking, you can also use boudeur or boudeuse (depending if you're talking about a male or a female) to describe someone who is generally sulky.

Elle est un peu boudeuse mais aussi très sexy – She is a bit sulky, but also really sexy.

You might also hear it being used in the sense of shunning or ignoring a person or denying someone something.

À la soirée, l'actrice a boudé les journalistes – At the party, the actress shunned the journalists.

In the sense of denial, you might see the phrase bouder mon plaisir – deny myself the pleasure.

Je n'allais pas bouder mon plaisir d'un dernier regard – I was not about to deny myself the pleasure of a last look.

For more French words and expressions, check out our French word of the Day section.



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For members


French Expression of the Day: C’est de la daube

A daube is a delicious and hearty French stew - but this expression is not something that you would aspire to.

French Expression of the Day: C’est de la daube

Why do I need to know c’est de la daube?

Because you might want to express your strong opinion on a movie/book/TV show you’ve just watched in informal but relatively polite society.

What does it mean?

C’est de la daube  – pronounced say de la dorb – translates as ‘it’s a piece of crap’ (rubbish, while a perfectly reasonable alternative, just doesn’t quite cut it) and is perfect for use in discussions about books, films and TV shows … there’s even a book about cinema called C’est de la daube (Chroniques de cinéma)

The phrase can also be used to describe things that have little value and can be discarded after use – or, basically, anything you want to describe as ‘crap’.

Famously, daube is a classic Provençal stew made with inexpensive beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbes de Provence, and traditionally cooked in a daubière, a braising pan. The question, then, is how a delicious and hearty stew came to be used to describe something cheap and nasty and best avoided.

It’s thought that this phrase has its origins in the kitchen. According to Gaston Esnault in his “dictionnaire des argots”, ‘daube’ in this less-savoury context is a 19th-century word of Lyon origin to describe fruits and meat as being ‘spoiled’, applied to fruits and meats.

Notoriously, French programmers who like the Linux system often refer to Windows as Windaube…

Use it like this

C’est de la daube cette film – it’s crap, this film

Ton opinion, c’est de la daube – your opinion is rubbish