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“Regional” Vocabulary and Expressions – Other Regions of Québec – 6 of 6 (#174)

This is the last post in our several-part series on regional vocabulary & expressions from different parts of Québec.  This last post will cover variations from several regions around Québec. A map of some of these regions was given a few posts ago (you can view the map by clicking here).

The vocabulary in this post is presented in the following format:

Name of the REGION or city:  Word “X”  (this will be the word or expression which is most apt to be heard in the specific region)

  • Word “Y” (this would be the equivalent of what could be heard more in the Montréal region or province-wide).  I will also include the English equivalent as well as reference notes.

Once again, there is no hard and fast rule regarding this vocabulary (after all, this vocabulary is based on very informal colloquialisms [informal oral speech]).  Words change with time, and a number of what is presented here may not be said by most people in the stated regions, some words may have fallen out of use with time, and others may also extend beyond the stated region.


Bas-Charlevoix: Pour que c’est fait pas simple de même?

  • Pourquoi tu fais simple comme ça?

Brayon / Acadie: Cuillère à marde

  • louch = ladle (it gets its name because it used to empty bed pans in the olden days – yum yum… eat your soup Johnny!)

Brayon:  ça va d’être

  • Ça va être

Brayonespère moi

  • attends moi

Brayontire-jus

  • Mouchoir = Kleenex

Brayon:  un bat-à-ball

  • une batte de baseball = baseball bat. (note:  un club de baseball is a baseball team/club, but it can sometimes also be heard as the term for a baseball bat… but it sounds strange and hick’ish when used to refer to a bat).

Chaudière-Appalaches:  Fouettes tes brousailleuses

  • Clean up ones mop (ie: clean up one’s scruffy hair).  Bousailleux means scruffy (don’t ask me why it’s said in the feminine form in the above expression or when referring to someone or oneself when cleaning up their scruffiness. It’s a weird expression)

Chaudière-Appalaches:  hauller le char

  • pousser le char (en panne) – To push a car which is broken down.

Chaudière-Appalaches:  frock de cuire, une

  • une veste en cuire, un gilet en cuire = a leather vest

Chaudières-Appalaches:  pantrie, la

  • le comptoir (de cuisine) = the kitchen counter

Côte-nord:  beigne, une

  • The word is correct, but the gender can be feminine in the Côte-nord, whereas it is masculine in Montréal and elsewhere.  (I also met someone once from La Tuque, far north of Shawinigan, who also refered to beigne in the feminine).   An interesting note:  In France, un beigne (masculine) can sometimes (but rarely) be said for a doughnut, but is best known as a “beignet“.  However, when said in the feminine in France, une beigne, it means a slap (une gifle).  As far as I know, it does not have this latter meaning (gifle) in Québec or Canada (not that I’ve ever heard at any rate).   Another quirk:  note that the technical name for a doughnut, in the dictionary, is actually beignet… but nobody ever says this in Canada or Québec (and likely most people would not even be aware it is technically called a beignet.  Menus in Canada which serve doughnuts only show them as beigne (http://www.timhortons.com/ca/fr/menu/beignes.php).    In Belgium, Switzerland, and in different regions of France, a doughnut can have up to 23 different names, depending on the region… here’s the wikipedia article on it:  http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beignet

Côte-nord:  Ben manque…

  • Je pense que… = I think that…

Côte-nord:  frock, une

  • un manteau = a coat

Estrie:  pitoune, une

  • A four foot “chord” of wood (this word also has a more common meaning used everywhere, that of a nice looking woman, une belle pitoune)

Gaspésie:  Barbe-moi pas

  • Ne me derange pas = Don’t bother me.

Gaspésie:  bourriet

  • moutons de poussière = dust bunnies (note : they are “dust sheep” in Québécois and Canadian French)

Gaspésie:  Ça me barbe pas.

  • Ça ne me dérange pas = It doesn’t bother me (note: in old French, “faire la barbe à quelqu’un” meant to tease or make fun of someone.  I find it interesting that this very old language use managed to hang on so long in more isolated regions).

Gaspésie:  Pile pas dans mes bourriets

  • Get your mitts out of my stuff or things. Keep your hands out

Gaspésie:  tché-ben

  • Je sais ben, Je sais très bien = I understand

Matane:  rye, un

  • un ride, a ride

Maurice / Trois-Rivières / Shawinigan:  pelottes, des

  • Ragout à boulettes = meatball stew (“pelottes” is a specific recipe in the region). It has a funny name which makes people in other regions laugh when they hear it.  It becomes even funnier if you drop the word “ragoût” because the first “e” after the “p” is silent, thus the word sounds like PL#@TE… a very, very BAD word (it might even earn you a smack if the person you are talking to doesn’t know the context of what you are talking about) – Ta grand-mère là… son affaire de pelottes là, ça sent tellement bonne! Je peux-tu y goûter? (I’m going to skip on the explanation… suffice to say, just don’t say that to any females should they serve you ragoût de boulettes at Christmas or at any other time).

Mauricie / Trois-Rivière:  patate à frite

  • galette de pomme de terre, galette de patate, galette = hashbrown, (m’a prendre une patat’à frite = I’ll order a hashbrown)

Mauricie:  râdot, un

  • un petit rat = a small rat

Mauricie: magoua, un

  • quelqu’un qui manque un peu de classe = someone who is a bit rough around the edges and may not be the most classy

Sherbrooke / La Beauce:  sneaks, des

  • sneakers

Valleyfield:  miguenne, une

  • louche = ladle

Victoriaville:    coton, un

  • un coton-ouaté = a sweater. This word can also be heard outside the region.

Victoriaville:  fan, une

  • Fan = electric fan. Feminine versus masculine, un fan.

Victoriaville:  havralle

  • Combinaisons = Over-alls. The letter “r” takes the French pronounciation.

Victoriaville:  tarte à la tarlouche

  • tarte aux raisins sucrés = sweet grape pie (note:  Tarlouche is an old word from the Argonne dialect of French, Northeast of Paris near the Belgian border.  It used to mean a big piece of bread or meat in Europe.  I’m not quite sure how it made its way into Québec regional French or how it came to signify sweet grape pie).

That’s a wrap on the short blog-post series on Québec regional words and expressions.

Informal Québécois “regional” words and expressions (versus province-wide informal vocabulary) are very difficult (and almost impossible) to find online (most online material focuses on province-wide and Canada-wide spoken French words and expressions).  I am more than positive that what I have provided is just the tip of the iceberg, but I hope my own bit of insight through these last few posts has been of interest.

If you’re looking for informal, colloquial French vocabulary, but which is spoken all across Québec (yet sometimes Montréal specific, but also often Canada-wide), I’d like to refer you to Felix Polesello’s website, OffQc, at  www.offqc.com.  Felix has done an amazing job on his website, and has worked very hard and diligently to try to bring you what I believe is the web’s best and most interesting site on the subject.  Make sure to check it out.

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SERIES:  “REGIONAL” VOCABULARY AND EXPRESSIONS (6 POSTS)

“Regional” Vocabulary and Expressions – Saguenay Lac St-Jean – 5 of 6 (#173)

Building on the last few posts, here is another post with more regional vocabulary & expressions — this time from the Saguenay Lac St-Jean region.  You can refer to the map in the previous post to see where this vocabulary primarily comes from.

The vocabulary is presented in the following format:

Word “X”  (this will be the word or expression which is most apt to be heard in the Saguenay Lac St-Jean Region)

  • Word “Y”(this would be the equivalent which could be heard more in the Montréal region or province-wide).  I will also include the English equivalent as well as reference notes.

In this sense, this list can be considered a comparison of French from the Saguenay Lac St-Jean region versus from the Montréal region.

As I said before, keep in mind that there is NO hard and fast rule about this vocabulary (we’re very much in the realm of lose oral colloquialisms).  Things change with time, some of these words and expressions may not always be said by the majority, the areas they’re restricted to may have fuzzy borders (therefore you may hear these words outside this region).  As well, individuals may say things differently.

Below is some vocabulary from the Saguenay Lac St-Jean region.

————– ——————– ———————

beigne, une

  • un beigne = doughnut.  You’ll recall from the prior “Québec City” vocabulary, there was a “masculine / feminine” difference for buses and french fries between Québec City and Montréal.  Here we have another gender difference between Saguenay Lac St-Jean and Montréal, but this time with doughnuts.

cotteur

  • chaîne de troittoir, chaîne de rue = the curb (of the road), edge of the road, side of the road

durex, du

  • papier collant = scotch tape (note, not a condom)

expression:  A’Jaie pantoute

  • J’en ai pas.  I don’t have any.  The addition of “A” at the front makes this a bit more local (versus J’ai pantoute which is said everywhere in Québec and everywhere in Canada).

expression:  painter les rubbers

  • shine the wheels of your car

expression:  Prendre une petite frette

  • To have a cold one (beer). This one you will hear elsewhere, but perhaps more so in Saguenay Lac St-Jean (I’ve heard it other places… and I say it myself as part of my own vocabulary.  You’ll hear it in Montréal, Ottawa/Gatineau and elsewhere, but I think it’s quite “standard” in Saguenay Lac St-Jean).

expression:  rester en rack

  • tomber en panne = to be out of order, to break down (most often referring to cars, but can be for other mechanical things also).

Flo

  • youngsters, kid, teenager. When you were an adolescent, you could say “mon gang de flos” = my gang at school [of young people]. (in Montréal, we’d generally just say “des jeunes” or “des ados“)

frite, un

  • an order of french fries (mostly “des frites” in Montréal).

frock, une

  • un manteau = a coat

gang de rotteux

  • coffee gang, coffee group, the same set of people you often whittle the time away with (des gens avec qui tu pottines la demi-journée). Mon gang de rotteux = “my coffee group” or “my usual gang” (doesn’t always have to be coffee… can just be for hanging out, etc.)

gesteuse, gesteux (a term more specific to the city of Dolbeau-Mistassini)

  • someone overly dramatic (someone who exaggerates a bit too much for the purpose of stretching things or getting attention… perhaps a drama queen in English, but applicable to women and men).

kelouwer

  • clouer = to pound a nail (with a hammer). The “e” right after the “k” is pronounced.

palteau

  • manteau = coat. (mettre ton palteau = put on your coat)

patalons, des

  • des pantalons = pants

patate à frite

  • hasbrown.  (M’a prendre une patat’à frite = I’ll take a hashbrown)

pitoune

  • a bunch of wood, i.e.: perhaps a floating bunch of wood on a lake or river. (It doesn’t mean a nice looking woman in this case, which is another province-wide meaning).

seeyow

  • siau = a bucket

trôler

  • bar-hop. Vas-tu trôler à soir?  (trôler in Montréal means to trole online, like in English).

trôleuse

  • Shrek’s wife (KIDDING!! But you paused for a second, didn’t you !?!).  Trôleuse is actually an old regional term for a bar table.

une soute (ie: un soute de ski-doo)

  • un habit de neige = a snow suite (one piece)

———- ————-

That has is for the vocabulary and expressions which  I know of from the Saguenay Lac St-Jean region.   However, this is a region rich in many other expressions and vocabulary, much of which I do not know or am unfamiliar with.   With that being said, there is more information online regarding this region’s own vocabulary than there is regarding any other region in Québec (with the exception of Montréal).  If you spend some times surfing the web, I’m sure you’ll be able to find more than what I’m able to offer.

I just did a quick 30 second web-search, and these two web-sites popped up at the top of the page:

The next post will be our last one on regional vocabulary.  See you soon!

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SERIES:  “REGIONAL” VOCABULARY AND EXPRESSIONS (6 POSTS)

“Regional” Vocabulary and Expressions – La Beauce Region – 4 of 6 (#172)

The last two posts looked at some vocabulary & expressions which are or were said primarily in the Québec city region (I say “were” because a number of the examples have fallen out of disuse with younger generations).

The next few posts will look at vocabulary samples from other regions of Québec.

v'cb1.3

One note regarding the map… the regions are “approximate” (I purposely wrote “Bas” Chaudière-Apalaches because I already filled in much of the Chaudière-Apalaches region with the Beauce Region – they overlap).  Also the Brayon speaking region is actually a region with its base in Northeast New Brunskswick, but which influences the vocabulary across the provincial border in Québec (a sort of “Acadianization” of Québec French).

The vocabulary is presented in the following format:

Word “X”  (this will be the word or expression which is most apt to be heard in the Beauce region)

  • Word “Y”(this would be the equivalent which could be heard more in the Montréal region or province-wide).  I will also include the English equivalent as well as reference notes.

Again, just keep in mind, there is no hard and fast rule about this vocabulary.  Things change with time, some of these may be odd-balls or not always said by the majority, geographic lines are blurry for words and expressions (therefore you may hear these words outside this region), and individuals may say things differently.

Below is some vocabulary from the Beauce region.

———————— ——————–

À’d j’où… ?

  • Où est-ce que… ? = Where is?  (Elsewhere in Québec, including Montréal, and elsewhere in Canada, in spoken French you will often hear “Où ce que…? or “Où ce qu’y est le/la…?” — a very informal way of posing the same question, and which I myself am guilty of saying more often than not).

aH’rien

  • rien = nothing. The first part is pronounced like an English “ah”, but the “H” is said with a big, pronounced expiration.   The adding of a heavily aspirated (breathed) “H” to many words is quite characteristic of language from La Beauce.

bajettes, des

  • des baguettes = chopsticks. In La Beauce, a hard “G” is often transformed into a soft “J”

bondrie, la

  • la frontière = the border (with the USA)

des tennis

  • espadrilles = running shoes

embartcher

  • embarquer = to get in (a vehicle). Note, people in more rural areas of La Beauce with often change a hard “K” or “Q” to a “TCH”.

étcheurré

  • échoeuré = fed up (with something or someone), tired of dealing with (something or someone)

être pamphlet

  • to be hung over (expression not heard very much anymore). In Montréal, a very local way of saying this (but seldomly said) coud be “avoir le bloc” or “être fripé”.  International French would be “avoir la gueule de bois”

herbe, la (pronounce the “H” with big aspiration)

  • la pelouse, le gazon = grass, lawn

jaipe

  • guêpe (wasp)

jibout

  • hibou – owl

peelouze, la

  • la pelouse, le gazon = grass, lawn

pourde

  • poudre – powder. Note, an “r” is sometimes added after an “ou”.  This can also mean coke (like cocaine).

pourle, une

  • une poule – a hen

pussycat en chaleur, un

  • In Montréal, Ottawa/Gatineau, and elsewhere, it would simply be “un chat en chaleur” (someone horny)

yhhaudières

  • Chaudières (the region the sub-region of La Beauce is physically situated in)

—————— ———————

One can argue that a good number of the above are simply pronunciations transformations, which I suppose many are.    Many other words follow the same type of pronunciation transformations.   You can hear some of these accent transformations in the post which covered Beauce accents in the accent series (click here for the earlier post with audio examples).  

However, I included them in the vocabulary list because have the effect of transforming some words to such an extent that the words, when spoken, resemble something quite different from the standard version, almost like a different vocabulary.

The next couple of posts will continue to explore other regions.

ÀH l’protchaine!! (how was that for my best Beauceron?).  😉

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SERIES:  “REGIONAL” VOCABULARY AND EXPRESSIONS (6 POSTS)

“Regional” Vocabulary and Expressions – Québec City Region (F to Z) – 3 of 6 (#171)

The last post presented vocabulary and expressions which are used primarily in the Québec City region of Québec (although some of the vocabulary may occasionally be heard in other regions of Québec the odd time).

The last post covered “A to E”.  This post will cover “F to Z”.  Afterwards we will move on to other region-specific vocabulary of Québec.

Instead of using International French as the comparison vocabulary, I’ll concentrate more on Montréal and greater-Québec vocabulary for base comparisons.  In this sense, this list could be considered a “Québec City versus Montréal/Québec Province vocabulary” list.

The vocabulary is presented in the following format:

Word “X”  (this will be the word or expression which is most apt to be heard in the Québec City region)

  • Word “Y”(this would be the equivalent which could be heard more in the Montréal region or province-wide).  I will also include the English equivalent as well as reference notes.

Again. just keep in mind, there is no hard and fast rule about these expressions, things change with time, some of these may be odd-balls or not always said by the majority, geographic lines are blurry for words and expressions, and individuals may say things differently.  Let’s keep going…


faces dédaigneuses, des

  • kind of a “Whaaat???” face, with your lip curled up and nose scruntched (you will hear this expression elsewhere in Québec… it is standard vocabulary – but I’ve heard it much more frequently in the Québec City region than elsewhere).   In Montréal, people will be more apt to just say “des faces”.

faire le train

  • soigner les animaux, s’occuper des animaux (sur la ferme). Animal husbandry (raising / looking after animals).  Said more in rural zones.  Likely comes from leading animals, such as cattle, out to pasture or watering holes.

fan, un

  • ventilateur = electric fan. Careful:  This word can be heard in Montréal as well, but it is masculine in Québec City, but feminine in Montréal (une fan).  Careful:  a “fan” (such as a sports fan, or pop-star fan) also exists in French, but it is masculine.

fausette

  • robinet (English = faucet).  In Montréal, a similar word exists, but it is sometimes pronounced “faucé”, although it is spelled “faucet” as in English (in this case, the “et” at the end comes with an “é” pronounciation in Montréal)

flo

  • youngsters, kid, teenager (in Montréal, we’d generally just say “des jeunes” or “des ados”) Adolescents / teens can be heard saying “mon gang de flos” = my gang of school friends / peers [group of young people who are friends]).  I’ve heard stague (male) and staille (female) denote the same thing in other regions across Canada, but I think this is quite dated (perhaps 1980s or earlier).

fourrer la truie

  • remplir la poêle à bois – put wood in the (wood) stove. A “truie” (f) is an Eastern Québec and forested Québec word for a small wood stove.  Note… fourrer, in the “true” sense of the word, actually meant to stuff and oven or stove many decades ago, as well as over the past few centuries – which is why this expression exists.  However, the word fourrer today has taken on a much different meaning. The word became twisted with time.

frite, un (masculine)

  • une frite (feminine) = fries, i.e.: French fries (careful… when said in the “singular”, this word is masculine in the Québec City region, but feminine in Montréal).  In the Québec City Region, it can sometimes be heard when actually ordered fries.    Usage example:   At the fast food counter, when you want to say “I’ll have an order of fries”, in Québec City you can say “Je prendrai un frite”.   In Montréal, however, you’ll be more apt to hear people order in the plural:  “Je prendrai des frites”.   But it becomes confusing when you want to just ask for a petit(e), moyen(ne), or grand(e).  But frankly – nobody who works at a fast-food joint cares.  So don’t worry.  If worse comes to worse, just ask for “des frites”.  Perhaps the best way to pretend that Montréal is a boy, Québec City is a girl (and apply this rule to fries and buses).—— Unrelated note note: An expression which uses the word frites is un casseau de frites. “Un casseau” is the little basket in which fast food joints serve fries.  The other context in which you’ll use “casseau” would be for a casseau of berries (the little basket of strawberries or blueberries at the supermarket).  “Casseau” is standard French, spoken everywhere in Québec and Francophone Canada.

gaudasses, des

  • des souliers = shoes

grayveur

  • la coulée = gravey made from meat (the kind you pour over your meat & potatos)

gum, une

  • chewing gum (also heard in Montréal, but is spelled gomme). In Europe you’ll hear chewing, or chewing-gum (the latter you’ll also hear in Montréal).

main, la (pronounced mayne)

  • the drag, strip (in the sense of a road)… “Faire un tour sur la mayne” means “cruising down the drag /strip / street” in a car.

miroirs à souvenir, des

  • photos :  very interesting expression, especially one which could be of interest to linguists. Here’s the story as I understand it:   At the time photos were being invented, the invention did not yet have a formal name.  Some people called them “memory mirors” in French, before the word “photograph” existed (recall that some of the first photographs were invented in France).  The word made it to this side of the Atlantic, and photos continued to be called “miroirs à souvenir” in some isolated communities in Québec, right up until very recent generations.   I’ve been told some people can still remember their grandparents or parents calling photos “des miroirs à souvenir”.  The fact that such an old word still exists to a certain extent illustrates just how isolated some communities were in Québec from one another up until the mid 20th century.

moine (pronounced “mwenne”, not “mwanne” like a monk)

  • perceuse (a drill for drilling things) (France = foret)

pépine

  • retrocaveuse (backhoe)

petacles (can have two pronounciations, with or without “é”)

  • patates (pommes de terre) = potatos

pétacles (sometimes “des pétacles frîtes” if fried)

  • patates (pommes de terre) = potatos (same as the above, but with a different pronounciation by adding an « é »)

pinces qui barre, des

  • pinces-étaux or serre-joint en C, or serre-joint (international French terms you’ll see written on the packaging at Canadian Tire or Home Depot) = self-locking clamps, C-clamps, or vice-clamps.

pinch

  • This is interesting, because you’ll hear it in Montréal and Ouataouis, as well as Ontario. But in these latter places it usually refers to a goatee, or facial hair when the “chin” is involved.  In Québec City, you’ll hear it take the same meaning as elsewhere, however in Québec city you’ll also sometimes hear it refer to only a “mustache”.  (which is generally a usage unique to Québec City).

pépites de poulet, des

  • croquettes de poulet, nugget de poulet = chicken nuggets, little fried chunks of chicken. Some people may also refer to fried chicken strips as “pipites de poulet”.

pour sortir

  • pour emporter. This phrase is the “evil twin” (or the “better twin” – take your pick) to the Canadian English equivalent.  This is what you say if you want take-out instead of dining-in.  In Québec city people might know you’re not local if you say “pour emporter”, whereas in Montréal, you would generally say “pour emporter”.  This is quite interesting, because almost the exact equivalent situation exists in Canadian English between Eastern and Western Canada.   Manitoba and anywhere further West = “to stay”, whereas Ontario and anywhere further East = “for here” (I mentioned this a couple of posts ago).

snicks, des

  • chaussures de sport = sports shoes

soute, une (ie: une soute de ski-doo)

  • un habit de neige. (note :  habit is pronounced habee), a snow suit (often one piece, but sometimes just snow pants… the big puffy kind kids wear)

syng, le

  • lavabo, évier (a sink). Here’s a language-learning tip for people learning Canadian French… in general, (1) évier = kitchen sink for washing things, (2) lavabo = a sink for washing your hands or face in the washroom/restroom, (3) cuve = big deep sink you might find in the laundry room (usually those big, white plastic ones).

tarte à hubard

  • tarte à rhubarbe = rhubarb pie

tennis, des

  • espadrilles = tennis shoes, running shoes

tirer la chaîne

  • tirer la chasse d’eau, flocher (flush the toilet, with the 1st one being international French, and the 2nd one, flocher, being very informal French you’ll hear across Canada)

truie

  • petit poêle à bois, small wood stove (careful because it has a completely different meaning in International French and in Europe where it is a cochonne = sow)

vire-vent, un

  • ventilateur, electric fan

The next post will cover vocabulary and expressions in a different region of Québec.   Stay tuned to find out which region… 😉

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SERIES:  “REGIONAL” VOCABULARY AND EXPRESSIONS (6 POSTS)

“Regional” Vocabulary and Expressions – Québec City Region (A to E) 2 of 6 (#170)

  • In the prior post I explained there are sometimes differences in vocabulary and expressions between various regions of Québec.

In this post, we’ll look at some words and expressions which are “more often” used in the Québec City region.  However, some of these words and expressions may occasionally be heard in other regions of Québec and Canada as well.

A word of caution if you want to use some of this vocabulary: although a good chunk of this vocabulary may still be heard in one manner or another (such as the feminine for of a “bus”, or “des flos” in the next post), some of these terms have already become dated, and a number have fallen off the radar owing to a massive trend of language standardization over the past 30 or more years (explained in the prior post).  An example would be “bombe” = “bouilloir” (kettle).  Most people have ceased saying “bombe” within the last generation or two (although I know a couple of people in their 40’s who still say bombe… one residing in Québec City and one residing in Montréal).   But with that being said, if you do encounter the word “bombe”, you will more likely encounter it in the Québec City Region than in the Montréal region.   (It is sort of like how the word “groovy” used to be big back in the 1960s, the word still exists, but few people say it).  Just be aware that some of these words may fall into that sort of category.

Online information on Québec City specific vocabulary expressions seems to be non-existent.   I therefore did my best to come up with a list of words and expressions I could think of myself or from other people I know or who I’ve come across from Québec City.   I’m sure there a host of other words and expressions which could be added.  Thus in that sense, this list should not be considered exhaustive.  Another note, I purposely left out some of the most vulgar words and expressions (more the most part, they are expressions derived from very graphic… sex — welcome to Québécois slang).

crt.vo.b.qc2

As I said earlier, some people in Montréal, Saguenay Lac St-Jean and elsewhere in Québec may occasionally use a few of these words or expressions, but I want to emphasize that this list, in general, is more apt to be heard in the Québec City region than elsewhere.

A note to language learners:  Because most people who learn Québec-specific French concentrate more on the language and accent spoken in the Montréal region, for the sake of comparison, I will offer also you the alternative words / expressions you’ll generally hear in Montréal, rather than providing strict international French comparisons (although I will sometimes give you the international French word if that is the word which is also often heard in Montréal).  I’ll also provide the English equivalent, along with some reference notes.   In this sense, this list could be considered a “Québec City versus Montréal” vocab list.

Example:

Word “X”  (this will be the word or expression which could be heard in the Québec City region)

  • Word “Y” (this would be the equivalent which could be heard more in the Montréal region or province-wide).  I will also include the English equivalent as well as reference notes.

Again. just keep in mind, there is no hard and fast rule about these expressions, things change with time, some of these may be odd-balls or not always said by the majority, geographic lines are blurry for words and expressions, and individuals may say things differently.


“A to E” WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS (“F to Z” will follow in the next post)

asphatte

  • l’asphalte (asphalt in English)

bêche, une (je me suis bêché)

  • une débarque, prendre une débarque, se planter, tomber (all mean to fall down, or trip and fall)

biche (i.e. “ma belle petite biche”, with “che” pronounced “sh”)

  • une petite femme fine, term of endearment (two girls/ladies who are just friends may say this in reference to one another… like saying “girlfriend” in English in a non-sexual or non-romantic manner). Not to be confused with “bitch” or “bitche“, both of which are said in Montréal, but which have the same meaning as in English… and are pronounced the same as English)

bol (exemple:  je vais à l’bol; je dois aller à l’bol)

  • toilette, the can (i.e.: I’m going to the can; I have to go to the can).

bombe (older people may still say this)

  • bouilloire (kettle); example:  chauffer la bombe.

bottes à vailler (pronounced “vaiyé”).

  • bottes en caoutchouc, Rubber boots

brahoule

  • louche, ladle

bricoles, des

  • des bretelles, suspenders (for pants)

bus, le / un (pronounced with an English accent, i.e.: a short “u”)

  • “un bus”, Masculine, Means a long-distance, inter-city bus/coach (whereas in Montréal, “un bus” means a regular city bus making stops along a bus route. Thus in Québec City, the word  has the opposite of Montréal’s meaning.)

bus, la / unela bus (prounounced with a french  “u”, like the word “tu”)

  • A city bus, Feminine, a regular city bus which makes stops as it goes down city road. In Montréal, this sort of “bus” takes the English pronounciation and is masculine.  In Montréal “une bus”, with a French accent “û” as in “tu”, does not exist (whereas it does in Québec City).

caille, une (which probably comes from the English word “coil”)

  • calorifère (plinthe électrique), electric base heater

caisse, une

  • un cahier, exercise book, notebook

calverte (the “r” is prounounced with a heavy French accent)

  • fossé, a ditch along the side of the road, or a trough in the ground

cannisons (a dated word, seldom heard anymore)

  • toilettes

carpot (pronounce the”r” with a French accent, with the last part pronounced “potte”)

  • carport (an open garage with no walls, attached to a house… an older style of garage which used to be build on the side of houses in Canada, popular in the 1970s — you’ll still run into this word because many of these houses are still around and being re-sold on the market).

charrue, une

  • A woman who is running everywhere… a woman on the go (a woman who is trying to get a billion things done). “Ma secretaire est une vraie charrue, toujours sur le go avec un million de choses à faire”

chiennes, des

  • saloppettes in International French. But many people in Québec simply say “overalls” with a French accent.  Overalls that a mechanic wears

clacks, des

  • overshoes (those rubber things people wear over dress shoes to protect them from rain… does anyone still wear them?)

club (the “u” is pronounced “û” as in the word “tu”)

  • club, the only difference between Québec City and Montréal (and Eastern Québec versus Western Québec in general) is the pronounciation (in Montréal it takes the English pronounciation, with a short “u”, like “tub” in English). This word can be used in all senses of the word “club” (club sandwich = sandwich club;  night club = club [or discothèque];  sports club = club de sports, etc. etc.).  Interesting note:  In Ontario French, it is pronounced the same way as Montréal, but in Western Canadian French (particularly the Prairies) it is pronounced the same as Québec City.  I’ve heard Acadians pronounce it both ways… so the Acadian pronounciation likely varies from one community to the other.

combines

  • caleçons, long johns

cossins

  • babioles (knick-knacks, trinkets)

crocheter l’orteil

  • se cogner l’orteil (Europe = cogner le pied, taper l’orteil), stub one’s toe

crûtte (i.e.: de la viande crûtte)

  • crû (raw) – for example, for meat.

dompeuse, une

  • le camion à benne (dump truck)

efface, une

  • une gomme (intl French). An eraser (but efface can sometimes also be heard in Montréal)

en sur de

  • en-dessus de (example, “c’est en sur du comptoir”, it’s on the counter).  Note, this expression is dated, and sounds very uneducated… It is guaranteed to make you sound like a hick (you can say this if you really want to be labelled as a Québec “regional” hill-billy from the sticks)

être floe

  • to be drunk (there are so many ways to say this in Montréal and elsewhere in Québec & the rest of Canada. Some examples:  être barbouillé, être en boisson, être ben chaud, en avoir plein son collet, être parti en fête, partir pour la gloire, être gommé, se pacter noir, plein comme un œuf, paqueté, réchaufé, saoul comme une botte, plein comme un sieu)

expression:  Avoir de la mine dans le crayon.

  • A man with a big sexual appetite (basicallly “a pig”).  Man, gardes-y, il cours après tout ce qui bouge… y a vraiment la mine dans’l crayon!

expression:  courir la galipot

  • courir après les jolies filles, chasing after girls

expression:  faire la culture physique

  • s’entraîner, faire de l’exercise (physical exercises of all sortes)

expression:  faire le pot pête

  • to backfire (a car’s exhaust). Pot = tuyau d’échappement or “exhaust pipe.  Pot d’échappement = muffler.  Pête = a mini explosion or shot of air (also a fart).   An interesting note:  this expression can have the litteral meaning of a car’s exhaust backfiring, but it can also have a figurative meaning, just as in English;  something which backfires.  example:  “It backfired on the politician” =  Il a fait pot pête au politicien, il lui a fait pot pête, ç’a tout fait pot pête.  (you will also hear this in Montréal)

expression:  jammé dans le coude

  • partir sur la brosse (getting smashed with alcohol)

expression:  partir sur une chire

  • This has a several different colloquial meanings in Montréal as well as in all of Québec and Francophone Canada in general. It can mean (1) partir sur une dérape (to go off on a tangent, related to anything which can be done in a tangent, such as arguing, grumbling, complaining, running off in a flash, dashing off, doing something in a flash, binge drinking, quickly getting severely drunk or high, whatever else can be done in a tangent);  (2) Partir sur une brosse (to go on a drinking binge);  (3) Partir sur le go (to go on a drinking binge, or to dash off in a mad rush); (4) se souler (get drunk);  (5) déconner (to kind of go off on a rant or “capoter“)… i.e.:  arrêtes de déconner un instant! = “shut up with your rant & ramblings for a minute!”); (6);  déblatérer (to rant);  (7) partir sur la trace (same as above meaning as “partir sur une dérape”); (8) partir sur le patch (same as above meaning as “partir sur une dérape”); (9) partir sur une tripe (same as above meaning as “partir sur une dérape”); (10) often simply used in the context to “go off on a tangent”, “take off in a flash”

expression:  Prend son café à paille

  • This is sort of a weird semi-trend in Eastern Québec (more in rural areas), taking hold with truckers and others who don’t want to spill their coffee while driving. Tim Hortons. McDonald’s, or even Starbucks (yikes!!), when asked, will pierce a hole in the coffee lid and serve it with a straw (yup… some people will drink their coffee with a straw in Eastern rural regions of Québec to avoid spilling!  How’s that for a cultural tid-bit?).  At the take-out window or cashier’s counter, you can say “je prendrai mon café à paille” (I’ll take my coffee with a straw).   I’m not sure anyone in Montréal is doing this, and if someone from Montréal really wanted to do this, because the expression hasn’t become part of the vocabulary, they probably would ask it in more “formalized” French, i.e. “Je prendrai mon café avec une paille”. 

expression:  se faire attention aux machines en t’en allant

  • Look in both directions before crossing the road. In this sense, a “machine” refers to a vehicle (Anglophone sometimes refer to their vehicle as a “machine” too… “That’s a mean machine you have there” = “That’s quite the car / truck you have there”)

expression:  se faire chier dans la pêle  (I love this expression!!)

  • se faire choker par quelqu’un, se faire traité de chokeux. This is a case where the French word does not match the English equivalent (a false friend).   “Choker” in colloquial Québec and Canadian French means “to skip out, absenteeism, to be late” (i.e.:  missed a meeting, been stood up, made to wait for someone who’s late).   Someone who does this is a “chokeux“.   Just for general info “choker” also has other meanings, but they are unrelated to what we’re discussing here.

expression:  un ordre de toast

  • deux tranches de toast, two slices of toast (probably because restaurants usually bring 2 slices). In Québec City, if you were to say you’ll have “un ordre de toast”, the waiter/waitress would know you want two slices of toast.  But in Montréal, they would know you want toast, but perhaps would not know it specifically means “two” slices.

expression:  va donc péter dans les fleurs

  • envoyer quelqu’un promener. This is a way to tell someone to “get lost”  (Vas te promener! = Get out of here!).

Expression:  Vas te crosser avec une poignée d’hyper  (very vulgar)

  • This one pushed the limits of vulgar expressions I decided to include. But because this series of expression is still heard from time to time, I decided to include it.   It means “Screw off / F-off”.  In Montréal, it would be “Vas te crosser avec une poignée de clous” or “… poignée de clous rouillées”, or “…poignée de brackets” (very Elvis Gratton if you’re looking for a cultural reference), or “…poignée de braquettes”.    Litterally:  Go beat yourself off with a handful of nails! (but if you use the Québec City version and say “hyper”, it would mean “Go and beat yourself off like a mad-man”.

expression:  T’es donc ben bolot.

  • You’re such an idiot. You’re such a dingbat.  You’re such a twit  (not vulgar… It is kind of a soft way of saying someone is an idiot or did something dumb – you could say this to tease a friend or relative with while joking and laughing)

The next post will cover F to Z for the Québec City Region.  Then we’ll look at vocabulary & expressions in other regions of Québec.

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SERIES:  “REGIONAL” VOCABULARY AND EXPRESSIONS (6 POSTS)