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February 11, 2006


:-) I love reading your blog in general (you write beautifully and are very expressive), but I especially love reading your take on Montreal/French culture. I rediscover my city/people all over again. Thank you

May I correct something? You say "I learned some useful new words like chuchoter - to pet or cuddle", but actually, "chuchoter" means to whisper. Thanks for the reference to this interesting article. I have a friend who is single and he spends a lot of time at the Grande bibliothèque. Now I know why...

Draguer , chuchoter , conter fleurette , rayons d'espérance ...
Des mots de moments heureux .
Mais également des mots pièges ...attention aux réveils des rêves !

May I suggest you search Language Hat http://www.languagehat.com/? Or ask there. Some very arcane and smart linguists and students of language hang out there.

Panthère rousee, merci. Another trip to the dictionary reveals my error: "chuchoter" of course means whisper, exactly as you said, but "chouchouter" means to spoil or pet. Obviously I got mixed up, as one does when learning a language! Please keep pointing out mes fautes!

Jean et Muse et mes autres ami(e)s français(es): it's very nice to see you here; thank you for your comments. I feel somewhat awkward writing anything in French or talking about the language and local culture because I know I am going to make mistakes, and also because it is such an embarrassing cliché when culture-besotted newcomers start sprinking French everywhere. It is so helpful when friends are encouraging and willing to read what I am thinking, realizing that I really do want to learn beyond my schoolgirl French. I'm grateful for your input.

Zhoen - perhaps one might say "Je drague pour M. L-H!" He is a reader of this blog, as I am of his, and I'm hoping he or one of his readers will enlighten us.

I love your discoveries, Beth! They are infused with such light.

Beth, merci! I enjoyed this post very much... just in time for Valentine's Day!

Oh. Should actually ~look~ at your blogroll. Sorry.

Greetings Dear Friends:
As a writer and one who follows a spiritual path, may I commend to you my book Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love. You can view the book and read an excerpt at http://www.masterofthejinn.com

Peace and Blessings,


Could *chouchouter* have anything to do with the term of endearment *chou* or *chou-chou*, literally _cabbage_? I suppose it's a French equivalent of the English pumpkin.

/goes to Le Petit Larousse/

Yes, *chouchouter* is related to *chou (n Terme d'affection, de tendresse)* And the feminine form of *chou* is *choute*.

Well, shute!

and drag... shorter oed has "12 Women's clothes as worn by a man; (less commonly) men's clothes as worn by a woman; a party at which such clothes are worn; gen. clothes. Freq. in in drag." Listed under "drag" the etymology of which is "partly from the verb, partly from Middle Low German dragge".

I'm not sure this helps very much!

(I'm going away after this, promise)

Finally I did what I should have done straight away and looked up "drague" in the Petit Larousse (such a good investment). Apparently it's from the English word "drag"! and the first meaning is a purse-shaped net used for fishing (presumably a drag net). The first meaning of "drageur" is someone who fishes with such a net, the fourth "aborder qqn, tenter de le seduire en vue d'une aventure. 'Draguer une fille dans la rue.'"

So dragging for a girl on the drag.

Folk wisdom claims that "drag" is an acronym for (DR)essed (A)s a (G)irl, with "drab" standing for (DR)essed (A)s a (B)oy. Eh, who knows?

As for "draguer," its usage (standard and colloquial) is parallel to that of the English words "trawl"/"troll," the former of which is assumed to be derived from the Latin word for "drag."

Thank you for all the comments and research!!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.