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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: Bader

One of an increasing number of French slang terms that are actually English words made into an 'er' verb.

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

Why do I need to know bader?

Because if you’re feeling a bit blue, then this is a great word for you.

What does it mean?

Bader – usually pronounced bah-day – is a slang term taken originally from English. The root of the word is ‘bad,’ and when put into -ER verb form in French, it means to have anxiety, worry or depression.

You probably will not find this word in the dictionary, and as such the proper conjugation for bader – whether you ought to use it as a reflexive verb or not – depends largely on the speaker. Whether you say ‘ça me fait bader‘ (that makes me depressed) or je bade (I am depressed), both are technically acceptable.

Though, you will most often see it used interchangeably with another French verb: déprimer, which means ‘to depress.’

It can also be used to mean ‘depressing’ – if you want to use it in this sense, you can say ‘badant.’

Bader is not the only French slang term to take its root word from English, some notable others are ‘swiper,’ ‘checker’ and ‘scroller’ which all mean pretty much what you’d think: to swipe, to check, to scroll, respectively, usually used for social media or online dating sites.

This word is definitely one you can use if you wish to parlez le langage des jeunes (speak the language of the youth), but it might not be as commonly known or understood in former or inter-generational settings.

Use it like this

C’est badant de voir ses amis traîner sans toi. – It’s depressing to see your friends hangout without you.

Ça me fait bader de penser que je vais manquer les vacances à cause du Covid. Être malade pendant les vacances, c’est le pire. – It depresses me to think I will miss my holidays because of Covid. Being sick during vacation is the worst.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Une vache à lait

This might sound like the cheese for children, but it actually has nothing to do with dairy products.

French Expression of the Day: Une vache à lait

Why do I need to know une vache à lait ?

Because if someone describes a potential investment opportunity like this, you might want to consider it.

What does it mean?

Une vache à lait – roughly pronounced oon vash ah lay – translates precisely to ‘a cow with milk’ or ‘a dairy cow.’ However, this phrase has little to do with farming, cheese, or milk.

In practice, une vache à lait is almost synonymous with the English term “cash cow” – or something or someone that is a moneymaker or source of profit. 

The phrase in French comes from the middle of the 16th century and evokes an image of a cow who is being milked without protest, allowing for the farmer to profit off of it. It was gradually extended to people and business ventures as a way of talking about profitability. 

Sometimes, this expression can have a negative connotation, particularly if a person is being called a vache à lait. This would be akin to saying that they are being financially exploited without realising it. 

Use it like this

L’achat de Snapchat a été une vache à lait pour Mark Zuckerberg et Facebook. – The purchase of Snapchat was a moneymaker for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Les parents ont été accusés d’utiliser leur enfant comme une vache à lait en l’inscrivant à des publicités. Ils ont trouvé cette accusation offensante. – The parents were accused of using their child as a cash cow by signing them up for commercials. They found this accusation offensive.

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