French word of the day: Brumisateur

French word of the day: Brumisateur
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This expression is a must-know for anyone wanting to cool off in France this summer.

Why do I need to know brumisateur?

Because it's allegedly the best way to cool down during coronavirus.

What does it mean?

The word brumisateur literally translates to 'atomizer' or 'sprayer'.

A 'sprayer' is a pretty accurate word for the concept, as a brumisateur is a fan that sprays mists of water to cool off the person on the receiving end.

Whether a large communal spray-fountain or a small spray-bottle purchased at the shop for individual use, brumisateurs are extremely popular in France during the summer.

MAP: How to find cool places in Paris during the heatwave

As temperatures soar, large outdoor brumisateurs appear in public spaces in cities to shower passers-by with mists of cool water.

Passers-by are showered with cool water vapour on the Bassin de la Villette in north-eastern Paris. Photo: AFP

Some bars even install them on their terraces to make sitting outside in the heat a more pleasant experience for customers.

During the 2019 heatwave, brumisateurs were popular attractions for inhabitants in cities like Paris without access to beaches or lakes.



This year has been slightly different due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and French health authorities have issued guidelines on cooling down safely during the pandemic. Luckily, brumisateurs are listed as OK, just remember to keep a one metre distance to others while getting sprayed.

Also, with masks now compulsory in Paris as well as a long series of other towns and cities, remember to change your mask if it gets wet (a damp mask does not offer protection).

Other ways of cooling down in French:

Ventilateur – fan

La clime (short for la climatisation) – air condition 


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