Monthly Archives: March 2013


M and M-Pokora

By | 2017-01-06T11:16:32+00:00 March 26th, 2013|Life in France|

My current status as a student, and teacher of students, has recently required me to make a bit of an effort in the hipster department. I am no hipster, and I usually wear regular trousers, but having some grasp of what's hip in France is becoming more important as I try...

You don’t fart a cable

By | 2013-03-04T14:58:19+00:00 March 4th, 2013|Life in France|

The verb for "to fart" was something I learnt early on in my studies of the French language.  I don't remember why now - but it probably had something to do with an awkward situation in a lift.  Anyway, the verb in question is "péter" (pronounced petay) and it is, for obvious reasons, seldom heard in everyday adult conversation. It goes without saying then that when you do hear it in polite conversation this can only mean that someone is chipping-in with a bit of toilet humour - right?  Well, not necessarily. Elle a pété une cable. When I heard this phrase for the first time I logically deduced that it must mean "she farted a cable" - clearly some sort of idiom that parallels the English one for a very long turd (she laid a transatlantic cable).  But the context seemed not to support this idea as it was about someone who was very angry on the telephone. It was when I met someone who had... Pété le mur du salon ... that I realised that perhaps my [...]