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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

Word of the day: Douillet

Since we've all been spending much more time indoors, here is an essential word you should know when talking about a house or an apartment.

Word of the day: Douillet
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know ‘douillet’?

Sometimes you can get away with using the English translation of this word and people will understand what you are trying to say, but knowing the right French word is always better.

What does it mean?

Douillet has two meanings. When describing a place, the closest translation of douillet is ‘cosy’, used to talk about places or things that are snug or comfortable, like a tiny apartment or a living room with a fireplace.

While you may hear people importing the word ‘cosy’ directly from English, particularly younger people, not everyone does, so this is the word you should use instead.

This word can also be used about people, and here it’s a bit less positive. Someone is douillet when they are oversensitive to pain or wimpish.

Use it like this

Il est trop douillet ton appartement – Your apartment is so cosy

Il faisait un temps horrible dehors mais on avions un coin douillet près du feu – The weather outside was awful but we were nice and snug by the fire

Mon frère a peur du ski, il est très douillet – My brother is afraid of skiing, he’s a wimp

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: Une tronche

You might call a member of the Big Bang theory team this word.

French Word of the Day: Une tronche

Why do I need to know une tronche ?

Because you probably have some former classmates who fit this description

What does it mean?

Une tronche roughly pronounced oon trohnsh –  normally refers to a big stump, log or block of wood, though not to be confused with the word “tranche”, which though it has a similar pronunciation, means a piece or slice of something. 

The French word for a block of wood has a second, casual meaning too – it can be used as a synonym for “face” or “head” – as it can in English too, such as in the phrase “knock your block off” to mean punch someone in the head.

You might be wondering now whether the word can be used synonymously with the English insult “blockhead” – referring to a dim person, but in fact it is the opposite. 

French people might call a genius or a highly intelligent person “une tronche,” similar to how English-speakers might call a very smart person a “brain.” 

Thus, a savant at mathematics might be referred to as une tronche en mathématiques.

Use it like this

C’est une tronche, il est le premier de la classe chaque année. – He is a genius, he is the top of the class every year.

Elle est une tronche dans l’apprentissage des langues, elle peut parler cinq langues différentes couramment.– She is a language-learning genius, she can speak five different languages fluently.

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