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French word of the day: Purée

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French word of the day: Purée
16:14 CET+01:00
Few French people actually think about mashed potatoes when using this expression.

Why do I need to know purée?

It's a swearword you can use in front of basically anyone.

What does it mean?

As a swearword, purée falls among the really harmless insults that you may use as you please.

Purée ! - Mashed potato!

It is kind of like saying 'oh sugar!' if you drop a vase in front of your kids. Even an old, posh French lady could probably hear you exclaim purée without frowning.

When can I use it?


Use purée like you use putain - which French people tend to do constantly (read more about putain here) - just without the fear of offending someone nearby.

Tu as vu l'heure? Purée, on est en retard - Did you see the time? Shoot, we're running late

Purée, il pleut ! - Oh darn, it's raining!

Purée, on a pas fait assez de purée - Oh sod it, we didn't make enough mashed potatoes.

Another French variant is punaise, 'darn' it', or the funny-sounding saperlipopette, which according to an online dictionary is an "ancient term used to express astonishment". 

Any other options?

Don't forget that purée really refers to a delightful side dish that is mashed potatoes. Although the most traditional version is crushed pommes de terres (potatoes) mixed with a generous lump of butter, purée technically means "mash" and you can use in front of all mashed veggies:

Purée aux épinards - mashed spinach

Purée de carotte - mashed carrots

Purée de pois cassés - mashed peas

Or (personal favourite) Purée aux truffes - mashed potatoes with truffle oil.

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