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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: La thune

If someone says you do not have this, you might be offended, but don’t worry - they’re not insulting your singing voice.

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

Why do I need to know la thune ?

Because you’ll want to know why your French friend described himself as lacking this.

What does it mean?

La thune – roughly pronounced lah tune – is a French slang term that has nothing to do with music, even though it might ring that way for English-speaking ears.

If you want to talk about money in French, your options are practically limitless, as there are many slang terms at your disposal. La thune is another – it simply means ‘money,’ and it is often used to describe a person who has a lot of it “avoir la thune” or has none “sans thune.” 

Originally, the word was slang for “alms” in the 1600s, and then in the 19th century, it was used to refer to a coin of five francs. Later, in the 1900s, five francs was the amount unions would demand for a day’s labour.

Many speculate that the word comes from “Tunes” – the title that was given to the “King of beggars” or (“roi de Thune”) in lawless parts of old Paris, during the Ancien régime. 

It is usually preceded by “de” or “de la,” but you can see the word used as a noun sometimes. A person might say “Je n’ai plus une thune” – meaning they have no money left.

Use it like this

Il est très difficile de vivre dans des villes chères, comme Paris, Londres ou New York, si l’on n’a pas la thune. – It is very difficult to live in expensive cities like Paris, London or New York without money. 

On ne se rend pas compte qu’il n’a pas la thune parce qu’il s’habille de façon très chic. – You would not realise that he does not have much money because he dresses so stylishly.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Avoir des idées arrêtées

This type of person knows what they like, and more importantly, what they don't like.

French Expression of the Day: Avoir des idées arrêtées

Why do I need to know avoir des idées arrêtées ?

Because your friend who will only watch certain movie genres might be described this way.

What does it mean?

Avoir des idées arrêtées roughly pronounced ah vwar dayz ee-day arr-eh-tay –  translates precisely to “to have stopped ideas.” 

In its normal usage, the phrase translates more accurately as “to have strong opinions” or “to have fixed ideas” – being uncompromising in your one’s viewpoints. 

Another way to describe this type of person in French might be “catégorique” (or ‘categorical’ in English). 

You might also hear this expression as “des idées bien arrêtées” – meaning someone who has ‘very’ strong opinions. Depending on context, this phrase might have a bit of a negative connotation, particularly if it is being used to portray someone as being stubborn.

Use it like this

Elle a des idées arrêtées sur les films, comme elle refuse de regarder tout autre film que ceux de Marvel. Elle ne veut même pas regarder les films DC. – She has very strong opinions about films, for instance she only watches Marvel movies. She won’t even watch DC movies.

Tout le monde dit qu’il a des opinions arrêtées, mais je l’ai trouvé flexible sur certaines choses… comme le choix d’un restaurant. – Everyone says he is uncompromising, but I find him to be flexible on some things, like choosing a restaurant.

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