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French word of the day: Entarter

French word of the day: Entarter
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
What do Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, Ségolène Royal, Alain Juppé all have in common? Hint: it tastes of custard.

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

Origins

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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