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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French word of the day: Daron

Daron might look like a boy's name to English-speakers, but it refers to something quite different in France.

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

Why do I need to know daron?

Because it’s a slang expression that young people in France use often. It's also newsy this week, in a story that not only has caused a stir in France, but also teaches us about subtleties in French language.

What does it mean?

Daron is a colloquial French term that refers to 'father'.

It can also mean 'parent'; mes darons is slang for 'my folks' or 'my parents'.

Similarly, daronne is feminine and means 'mother'.

Like most French slang, teenagers are the most frequent users of daron, daronne and darons.

On Saturday, French daily Libération titled the front page of its weekend paper Daron noir, accompanied by an eye catching black and white picture of Education Minister Jean Michel Blanquer.

 

The paper claims that Blanquer had used his position as education minister to boost pro-government sentiment by favouring a certain student union.

There are three reasons why the title is so catchy in French.

Firstly, Daron noir is a wordplay on Baron noir, the famous French political drama series in which a politician uses dirty means to get what he wants.

Secondly, daron is a term that those affected by Blanquer's alleged actions – high schoolers – are known as using when talking about their (old and strict) parents. 

Thirdly, daron can also mean patron (boss) or the top authority in a hierarchy, ie the education minister.

Use it like this

Je ne peux pas venir ce soir, mes darons m'ont interdit de sortir en semaine. –  I can't come tonight, my folks have banned me from going out on weekdays.

Franchement ton daron abuse, je trouve qu'il est trop stricte. – Frankly your dad's exaggerating, I think he's too strict. 

Tu as demandé a ton daron ? – Have you asked your boss?

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why being a good pupil can sometimes be … bad.

French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why do I need to know Syndrome de la bonne élève?

Feeling under-valued at work despite doing everything – and more – asked of you? You may have ‘good student syndrome’.

What does it mean?

Syndrome de la bonne élève – pronounced sin-dromm de la bon ell-evv – translates, as we’ve already hinted, as good student syndrome. 

You may well also see it written as syndrome du bon élève (pronounced sin-dromm doo bon ell-evv) – but this is predominantly a female issue.

It refers to someone in the workplace who tries their hardest to work to the rules, do all the jobs asked of them – and more – and yet is overlooked in favour of co-workers who don’t necessarily put in the same hard graft.

It’s not an official ‘syndrome’, but mental health experts do recognise it in many people – particularly women.

It is a hangover, according to features in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, from school days when girls are considered to be harder workers and less trouble than their boy counterparts.

Marie Claire labelled it a “destructive perfectionism … which affects the mental health of the women they become, while preventing them from embracing positions of responsibility’.’

Use it like this

Le syndrome de la bonne élève touche essentiellement les femmes dans le monde occidental. – Good student syndrome mainly affects women in the Western world.

Cette question d’éducation est d’autant plus marquante que le syndrome du « bon élève » affecte généralement les femmes – This question of education is all the more striking because “good student” syndrome generally affects women

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