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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

Word of the Day: Bamboche

An archaic word that gained an unexpected new lease of life back in 2020 thanks to one local official - and has now become quite fashionable.

Word of the Day: Bamboche
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know bamboche?

Because you might need a new word to describe the “Project X” you were invited to that one time in Uni… 

What does it mean?

Une bamboche – pronounced bahm-boh-sh – is defined as a  means “moment of debauchery” or a “feast,” which shows that this word is not the most modern. Originally, it was used to refer to small figurines or puppets that people would bring along to the theatre in the 1600s. The word came to be associated with large parties because the first place the actors would go after a performance was the feast. 

The word has seen a resurgence in recent years, actually becoming one of the most used words of 2020. Why, you might ask? In October 2020, the Préfet of Val-de-Loire made a public statement on France 3 announcing the start of a 7pm curfew, saying: “We aren’t partying anymore; no more moment of debauchery.”

Immediately after his statement, the internet had a field day, with tweets like “Bamboche? Are we in 1927?”

A French comedian even launched a T-shirt line with the word on them.

Quickly, the word took off and it has become a favourite for describing the post-Covid parties everyone has been so anxiously awaiting.

It’s definitely a party in the wild and crazy sense of the word, if you have a few friends around for wine and cheese that is not une bamboche (that would be une soirée).

Use it like this

Il a fait tant de bamboches quand il était jeune. – He was such a party animal when he was young.

Je vais organiser une bamboche ce week-end, il y aura des feux d’artifice et un traiteur. Tous sont les bienvenus ! –  I am hosting a crazy party this weekend, and there will be fireworks and a caterer. Everyone is welcome!

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For members

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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