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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French word of the day: Mecspliquer

You won't find this one in a French textbook, but feel free to explain it to people.

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

Why do I need to know mecspliquer?

Because it's so much cooler than just saying le mansplaining with a French accent.

What does it mean?

Mecspliquer is a fusion of two words, mec (guy) and expliquer (explain).

Like its English equivalent 'mansplaining', mecspliquer refers to the tendency of some men to explain things, often to women, in a superior manner. 

 

Unlike its English sister expression, mecspliquer is also a homonym, which means that it sounds exactly like the more formal French m'expliquer (explain to me).

Mecspliquer means explaining something in a patronising, condescending or paternalistic way. Sometimes a mecsplication (mansplanation) is about a topic of which the man in question has little or no real knowledge.

Use it like this

Arrête de mecspliquer, mec. – Stop mansplaining, dude.

J'en ai marre de tous ces types qui mecspliquent tout le temps. – I'm sick of all these guys who mansplain all the time.

Tu ne trouves pas que je mecsplique, j'espère ? Bah, si tu dois poser la question.. – You don't think I'm mansplaining, do you? Well, if you have to ask..

 

 

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Tarte à la crème

This expression is more than just your last order at the boulangerie.

French Expression of the Day: Tarte à la crème

Why do I need to know tarte à la crème ?

Because if someone uses this phrase to describe you, you should probably be a bit offended.

What does it mean?

Tarte à la crème – pronounced tart ah lah krem – literally refers to a cream filled tart, or a custard tart, in English. However, this expression has more to do than just baking. It is another way of describing something that is boring, predictable or commonplace.

This expression comes straight from Moliere himself. In the 17th century, there was a popular rhyming game called “Corbillon.” The phrase “Je vous passe mon corbillon” (I pass you by corbillon) is said, and then it is followed by “Qu’y met-on?” (What does one put on it?) To keep the rhyme up, people must respond with something ending in an -ON sound.

In the play, “L’Ecole des Femmes” (The School of Wives), one character says the ideal woman would respond to the question with “tarte à la crème” which is obviously the wrong answer. The right answer would be tarte à la citron (lemon tart). Molière did this on purpose to poke fun at the fact that disgruntled fans would send poor actors cream tarts to express their frustration.

It was a way of ridiculing his critics and showing he was unimpressed by their method of showing discontentment at his plays. Over time, the phrase went on to describe things that are commonplace or boring. It is often used to describe entertainment related topics, such as books, movies, or plays.

A synonym for this phrase in French might be banal and in English you might say something is ‘vanilla’ to describe something that is fairly unexciting.

Use it like this

Le film était vraiment tarte à la crème. Je ne recommande pas d’aller le voir au cinéma, vous pouvez attendre de le voir une fois qu’il sera gratuit en ligne. – The movie was really boring. I don’t recommend going to see it at the movies, you can simply wait to see it once it is free online.

Je pense que l’album est tarte à la crème. Elle a pris tellement d’idées d’autres artistes que ce n’est vraiment pas original du tout. – I think the album is predictable. She really took plenty of ideas from other artists and it was not original at all.

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