Je jure, tu jures, elle jure …

August 27, 2009

Help me out if you will.

The more Piaf repeats words that she hears, the more aware I become that I will need to stop swearing. 

Now, bear in mind that I swear a lot. It’s not because I have a limited vocabulary, or because I struggle to express myself, or because I lack decorum or confidence. It’s because I like it.

Secondly, remember that swearing in French, while not something I find difficult or limiting, is not my first instinct in those very moments of heightened pain, shock, surprise or anger when I most like swearing.

So to go from swearing in English, to swearing in French, to using those “pretend” swearwords especially invented for use in front of and by children – the Gallic analogues of “fudge”, “sugar” and (for the Baptists among you) “Jeepers Creepers” – is quite a tall order. 

Especially given that I don’t actually know what those analogues are.

 Well, having said that, I once had a private student (18 years old, I sugar you not) who would exclaim “mince!” instead of “merde!” when he made a mistake. There’s polite, and there’s embarrassing. Still, I know that one.

I also know that “flute!” is often used in these contexts, but I’m never sure what it’s replacing. 

So, if you can help, I’d love to hear a few more. In the mean time, I’ve made up a few of my own to be going on with.

I thought, for example, that “Pétain!” was practically a swearword in itself so I might as well use that one while I’m waiting. “Canard” also seems fit for purpose, especially as Piaf is really into ducks at the moment. (I remember fondly, too, a conversation with a French friend about whether people from Caen were Caennards …) “Mince” I have, so no worries there – and, of course, the verb “ficher” covers a multitude of sins (though can you say, “va te faire ficher”? I think not.) 

That basically leaves me with “cul” and its derivates (“enculer”, “trouduc”, “enculé(e)(s)”, “va te le mettre au cul”) to replace (I was going to say “plug” but didn’t want to excite you with a double entendre.) If you’ve got any ideas, please log them in the comments.

You poor duck.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Je jure, tu jures, elle jure …”

  1. Marine said

    Voilà un sujet assez fascinant…

    Dans la même veine que “flute”, qui ne se dit plus depuis un certain nombre d’années sauf par le 3ème age, tu as tout le vocabulaire type “Tintin” : “saperlipopette”, “sapristi”, “sacrebleu”, des mots qui ne sont absolument plus utilisés aujourd’hui mais qui peuvent te donner un petit style rétro et décalé (important ça le style…;). Et puis, d’un point de vue de l’écoute, je trouve que ces mots sont plutôt “rigolos”, peut-être qu’ils plairaient à Piaf. Bon évidemment, utiliser “saperlipopette” spontanément, ça va te demander beaucoup d’heures de pratique…

    Plus facile, j’aime bien remplacer “merde” par “crotte”, je trouve ça plus mignon. Il y a “zut” mais comme “mince” ou “flute” c’est assez vieillot. Et sinon par exemple, je me souviens que quand mon grand-père était sur le point de dire merde, qu’il avait en fait commencé le mot pour se souvenir qu’il y avait des enfants devant lui, il se rattrapait et finissait en disant “mercredi”, ce qui est un peu naze mais évite le juron…
    Et en y réfléchissant, j’ai l’impression que n’importe quel palliatif au juron est ringard et vieillot.
    Putain de merde, ça fait chier!

  2. Emmanuel Bavoux said

    Real-life swaps (at least in MY life) : “Punaise” ou “pétard” pour “putain”, “mazette” pour “merde”. “Nom d’une pipe” ou “nom de zeus” pour “nom de dieu”….”je m’en fiche” is fine, but indeed you can’t go “fiche” yourself…. “Trou de balle” est plus sophistiqué que “trou du cul” mais aussi “graphic”….
    Si d’autres choses me viennent, je te le ferai savoir.

  3. emmanuel bavoux said

    Rien. Mazette est une expression qui exprime la surprise… “Oh, tu as gagné au scrabble ??!! Mazette !” synonyme de “fichtre!”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: