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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: Fanfarroner

You'll probably see a lot of this in pubs during a contentious match.

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

Why do I need to know fanfarroner ?

Because if you are a sporting fan looking to hype up your team, someone might say that you are doing this.

What does it mean?

Fanfarroner roughly pronounced fan-fair-oh-nay –  means to boast, brag, or show off to others.  

You might hear this verb when fans of a sporting team are being described, or perhaps during a conversation about a boastful colleague or friend. 

The French verb “fanfarroner” – which sounds very similar to the English word “fanfare” and bears a similar meaning – appearing as early as the 1600s, originally comes from the Spanish word ‘fanfarrón.’ The Spanish word itself actually comes from the Arabic word for “talkative.”

In French, you can also use the adjective “fanfaron” to refer to a person as a ‘braggart.’

Use it like this

Des supporters anglais fanfaronnent, en disant “qu’on va vous battre,” avant de défier la France en quarts de finale. – English fans brag, saying ‘we’re going to beat you’ before facing France in the quarterfinals. 

Mon ami américain ne cesse de fanfaronner du peu de sommeil qu’il a et de son dévouement au travail. – My American  friend is always bragging about how little sleep he gets and how dedicated he is to his work.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Système D

It might sound like a military operation, but you will probably have to use 'system D' at least once during your time in France.

French Expression of the Day: Système D

Why do I need to know Système D?

Because if your train was cancelled during a strike, or your childcare arrangements suddenly fall through, then you might need a ‘system D’.

What does it mean?

Système D roughly pronounced sis-tehm day – may sound like the name of a rock band or a computer programming device, but it has little to do with music or coding.

In reality, Système D is a French expression reserved for situations where one must be resourceful and inventive – it is defined as ‘the art of getting by’ or ‘making do’ or perhaps ‘cobbling it together’ and it has been used for several decades in France.

You might use this expression if you find yourself having to make do in a complicated scenario. For example, the French press said parents were forced to adapt after a recent strike closed schools for the day. One French article quoted a parent who said “On fait ce qu’on peut, c’est le système D” (We do what we can, it is a make-do situation).

The “D” part of Système D actually comes from the French word “débrouille (or se débrouiller)” which means “to get by” or to work to put things in order.

Use it like this

Ne vous inquiétez pas, Michel s’adaptera à n’importe quelle situation dans laquelle vous le mettez. C’est un expert du système D. – Don’t worry, Michel will adapt to any situation you put him in. He is very resourceful.

Se rendre au travail était le système D la semaine dernière, alors que toutes les options de transport étaient fermées en raison de la grève. Il fallait être très créatif. – Getting to work was a make-do situation last week, when all public transportation was closed due to the strike. You had to be really creative.

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