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French expression of the Day: Une commère

French expression of the Day: Une commère
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Because everyone sometimes enjoys a good gossip.

Why do I need to know une commère? 

It’s the ideal word to describe someone who has a passion for gossiping.

What does it mean? 

Une commère is the French term for a person who is always on the lookout for a new gossip.

Although commère is a feminine word, it can be used for a man as well (and the une doesn't change into un). She/he loves to chitchat about anyone or anything, as long as it has nothing to do with herself/himself.

She/he is a character known to be curious, who loves informal talking and spreading rumors.

 

commère is what Anglos would call 'a good gossip'.

In the past, a commère described a common woman who imposed herself thanks to her energy and her language. A commère could also be used to describe a “godmother”.

Use it like this

Usually, French will use une commère in a pejorative way, to signal that someone is irritating.

Mais quelle commère ! – What a gossip!

Si seulement elle arrêtait de faire sa commère, elle pourrait se concentrer sur des choses plus importantes. – If only she stopped being a gossip, she could concentrate on more important stuff.

Il adore être une commère, surtout quand ça concerne les gens du bureau. – He loves being a gossip, especially when it regards people at work. 

Synonyms?

Concierge – gossip

Pipelette/ bavarde – someone who doesn't stop talking

In the mood for some good gossip in French? Check our article about the 10 French phrases that will help you out.

 


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