French words I learned this week – 23/05/2014


Writing about Paris means that I read a lot of books in both English and French and I’m constantly coming across words that I don’t know. I’m usually unaware that I don’t know the word until I see it. Words like ‘stiletto’ and ‘tomcat’ are ones that I take for granted in English – it’s only when you’re stuttering to explain the high-heeled moggy you just saw that you get the ‘oh my God, my vocab’s so bad’ sweats.

So, here are the 10 best words that I have learned this week:

La poiscalle (n) – a slang word for fish

Grelotter (v) – to shiver (from fear or cold)

Fugace (adj) – ephemeral / momentary / fleeting

Le noyau (n) – fruit pit / nut kernel / a planet’s core / the nucleus of an atom

Balbutier (v) – to stutter / stammer / stumble over words

Un escarpin (n) – the heel of a woman’s shoe / high heel / stiletto

Un patelin (n) – a village/hamlet OR slang for a dump of a place/a godforsaken place

Une frimousse (n) – a smiley/emoticon OR a cute baby’s face (e.g. look at his little frimousse…)

Les tourtereaux (n) – young turtledoves OR (figurative) lovebirds

Trébucher (v) – to stumble/trip over


And if you were desperate to know the word for tomcat, it’s un matou.

4 responses to “French words I learned this week – 23/05/2014

  1. You stopped by my blog in May; I thank you for visiting and hope you will stop again. I apologize that I lost you and it’s taken this long to visit your blog. My French is terrible, but your site should be a good source if I ever have a character in France or needs to speak French.

    • Thanks so much for having a read and leaving a message. Am glad you found my blog interesting. I fear I’ve neglected it for a couple of months as I’ve been focused on other writing but I hope to have more posts up soon. Thanks again – really appreciated the comment this morning!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s