For members


French word of the day: Entarter

What do Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, Ségolène Royal, Alain Juppé all have in common? Hint: it tastes of custard.

French word of the day: Entarter
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know entarter?

This is not only one of the coolest French expressions we've learned so far, it's also pepped with culture and political satire.

What does it mean?

Entarter is French linguistics at its best. In some ingenious twist, the word tarte (pie) has been turned it into a verb that means ‘throwing a pie in someone’s face’. 

There’s no such expression in English (although there should be).

READ ALSO: Nine French phrases that English really should have too

How do I use it?

It’s easy. Use the word entarter as a regular verb.

Tu veux qu’on entarte le prof s’il te donne une mauvaise note? – Should we pie the teacher if he gives you a bad grade?

Je me suis fait entarter – Someone threw a pie at me/I've been custard pie-ed.

Entarte celui qui le mérite le plus – Pie the person who deserves it the most.

Républicaine Party leader Alain Juppé was 'entarté' in 2003. Photo: AFP


If the French have invented a word for throwing a pie in someone’s face, it’s not without reason.

In fact, entartage (yes, it’s a word) has become regular business during political campaigns. 

Fun fact: entartage is also called attentat pâtissier, which Wikipedia defines as “crushing a cream tart (or, even simpler, a paper plate with whipped cream on it) in someone’s face during a public event.”

So entartage is a highly political act – of which a long string of famous faces have fallen victim.

Hommes/femmes politiques entartés (politicians who have gotten a pie thrown in their face) include Nicolas Sarkozy, Ségolène Royal, Alain Juppé, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Francois Bayrou and François Hollande.

Oh, sorry! Hollande was not entarté, but enfariné (‘thrown flour at’). Another peculiar French expression. 

French President Emmanuel Macron has so far not been entarté, but was hit in the face by an egg at the annual Agriculture fair in Paris in 2017.

There’s no French expression for throwing an egg in someone’s face (yet).

If you are feeling a bit low and need a giggle, here’s a video Brut compiled of politicians being respectively entartés and enfarinés.




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For members


French Expression of the Day: Faire trempette

You'll definitely need this phrase as the temperature rises.

French Expression of the Day: Faire trempette

Why do I need to know faire trempette?

Because you might need this phrase to describe that urge to jump in the water once the temperature hits a certain degree this summer.

What does it mean?

Faire trempette – usually pronounced fair trahm-pet – literally means ‘to make dipping sauce’ because the word ‘trempette’ is actually a condiment, or a dip, typically used for raw vegetables. In Canada, the dip is popular, and quite similar to Ranch dressing – a great addition to your crudités (vegetable snacks). 

But this phrase does not have anything to do with your healthy finger-food – in the colloquial sense, the phrase faire trempette actually means to take a dip – as in to go swimming.  

The way the expression came to become about swimming and not eating is pretty logical – in the 1600s a ‘trempette’ was a slice of bread dipped in liquid. As time went on people started to say ‘faire la trempette’ to describe the action of dipping food in liquid – like bread into wine – prior to taking a bite.

It became the metaphorical way of talking about taking a very short bath in the 19th century and now it’s the best way to reference the urge to  splash around for a second before heading back to the lounge chairs to tan. 

While you may  not have heard of this phrase before, you’ve definitely heard its synonym: the verb ‘se baigner’ (‘to bathe,’ but more so used as ‘to swim’). 

Use it like this

Comme la température augmente, je suis encore plus tentée d’aller faire trempette dans le canal. – As the temperature gets higher, I am even more tempted to go take a dip in the canal. 

Je pense que je vais faire trempette et ensuite m’allonger pour bronzer au soleil pendant un moment. – I think I will take a dip and then lay out to tan for a bit.