There are many words in the French vocabulary that sound a bit like another. Hence the French are rather fond of the odd pun, as a double-hearing (or double entendre if you prefer), can lead to much mirth.

But in day-to-day communication it can make things quite infurating, if you’re not quite used to the double-hearing thing in given situations. One that always seems to catch me out is whenever someone asks me my weight. (e.g. at the chemist when collecting a prescription)

“Combien de poids avez-vous?” sounds exactly like “Combien de pois avez-vous?”

There is usually this confused silence and look (from my direction) while my brain computes this bizarre request. “Did she just ask me how many peas I’ve got? She did. I’m sure she did. My god she’s as mad as a brush! … oh, hang on …”

“69 kilos”