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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French word of the day: Emberlificoter

It sounds charming but beware of getting ensnared, either literally or metaphorically.

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

Why do I need to know emberlificoter?

Because it's a nice and rare word to describe getting tangled in something or in a situation. 

What does it mean

It means to get tangled up in something – like in a rope for example – or in a situation – like in a dispute for instance. 

But it also means to embarrass someone or to get that person to agree with you, by seducing him/her with words or promises.

Use it like this

 

Regarde ! Le chaton s’est encore emberlificoter dans la ficelle! – Look ! The kitten got tangled-up in the string again !

Il t’a emberlificoté avec ses histoires – He bamboozled and ensnared you with his stories.

Synonyms

Embobiner – to deceive, trick

Emmêler – to tangle

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Being patronised by a Frenchman? Roll out this phrase.

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Why do I need to know ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines?

Because someone might be trying to take you for a fool.

What does it mean?

Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines – pronounced ne me pren pah pour un lapan de see sem-enn – translates as ‘don’t take me for a six-week-old rabbit’, and is a go-to phrase to warn people not to mistake you for a fool, someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The podcast Hit West from French regional newspaper Ouest-France suggests that the ‘six weeks’ comes from the age a rabbit is weaned at, and must therefore be ready to survive on its own.

And why a rabbit at all? Well no-one really seems very sure. Rabbits don’t get a good rap in the French language though, to stand someone up is poser un lapin in French.

English-language metaphor equivalents may be, “I didn’t come down in the last shower”, “I wasn’t born yesterday”, or, as Line of Duty’s DCI Hastings might say, “I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble”.

Use it like this

Honestly, keep it simple. If someone’s speaking to you in a patronising manner, simply say: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines.

Ouest France suggests that this is the ‘more elegant’ way to request that people don’t take you for a fool. It’s not offensive, but it might be a little old-fashioned. 

Alternatives

You can use the more basic version of this phrase – Ne me prends pas pour une idiote (don’t take me for a fool) or the slightly more punchy Ne me prends pas pour un con (don’t take me for a moron).

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