For members


French Word of the Day: Poêle

The season of the poêle is approaching.

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

Why do I need to know poêle ?

Because you might be confused why your friends said they plan to heat their home using a frying pan this winter.

What does it mean?

Poêle – roughly pronounced pwahl – translates exactly to “stove” and is also often used in a shortened form of poêle à frire (frying pan).

But that’s not why people suddenly start talking about them as the temperatures fall, as a poêle is also an alternative heating method.

In English, we would call these log-burners or wood (or pellet) burning stoves. There are two different types – un poêle à bois (wood-burner) or un poêle à granulés (pellet-burner).

These can be used as an extra heater or simply as a nice focal point in the living room, but certain types of poêle can also be linked up to the main heating system or water-heating system, so have a more practical application.

Some people also use the hot surface of the poêle to boil a kettle on or to cook on, although they’re usually used as a supplement to an electric or gas stove. 

Amid France’s discussion surrounding energy shortages and the price of electricity and gas, les poêles have been more frequently referenced.

Be careful not to confuse this word with ‘poils’ which is the French word for animal fur, but is pronounced very similarly, or even à poil which is a colloquial word for being naked.

Use it like this

J’ai installé un poêle à bois dans ma maison. Le processus a pris beaucoup de temps, mais j’ai pu bénéficier de certaines aides gouvernementales. – I installed a wood-burning stove in my home. The process took a long time, but I was able to benefit from some government subsidies.

Elle a chauffé sa maison avec le poêle tout l’hiver pour éviter d’utiliser l’électricité. – She heated her home using the wood-burner all winter to avoid using electricity.

Member comments

  1. It helps that ‘la poêle’ (female) is pan, while ‘le poêle’ (male) is burner, or stove. They’re usually spoken about in the singular, so that’s how I know which is being spoken about.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Encore un que les anglais n’auront pas

Finished a delicious French meal? It might be time to mention the English.

French Expression of the Day: Encore un que les anglais n’auront pas

Why do I need to know encore un que les anglais n’auront pas?

Because who wouldn’t want to celebrate finishing a delicious plate of food?

What does it mean?

Encore un que les anglais n’auront pas – roughly pronounced ahn-core uhn kuh layz ahn-glay nor-ohn pah – translates precisely to “another one that the English will not have.”

You probably won’t hear any French millennials using this old-fashioned French expression, it is certainly might be more likely to come out of the mouth of a grandparent or a great-aunt.

Nevertheless – the history of it is quite interesting, particularly considering the “anglais” (English) part can be interchangeable with other countries that have invaded France at some point in history.

The expression is mostly said (in a joking way) to commemorate the end of a good meal. Originally, it was used to celebrate the fact that everyone managed to finish their plates without the soldiers from *insert country to have invaded France* taking the food off their table. 

You might hear other variations of this expression, like “Encore un que les allemands n’auront pas” (another one that the Germans will not have) or the even older (dating back to the 1870s and the Franco-Prussian wars) expression, “Encore un que les prussiens n’auront pas” (another one that the Prussians will not have).

Sometimes, the phrase might be “les boches” instead of the Germans, Prussians or English. However, you should be aware that this is a pejorative term for a German soldier, so perhaps not the most friendly version of the expression.

Use it like this

En se levant de table, Simone a pris son assiette et a dit “encore un que les Anglais n’auront pas.” – As she stood up from the table, Simone took her plate and said “and another one that the English won’t have.”

Après la guerre franco-prussienne de 1870, les Français avaient plusieurs expressions pour se moquer des Allemands, comme “encore un que les Allemands n’auront pas.” – After the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the French came up with several expressions to poke fun at Germans, like “another one that the Germans won’t have.”

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