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For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

One of the members of my French group asked me if I'd ever heard of the expression "s'appelait popette" (my interpretation of what she said).
Since I hadn't, I asked a French friend. The word is actually "saperlipopette", a very old word that was used to express surprise or amazement.
Maybe it's the equivalent of the English "Well, I never!" (Not that you hear that a lot nowadays.)

Anyway I bring it to your attention since I know you enjoy learning and using French expressions.

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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

Frecossais, thank you so much.  Yes, such a very lovely word!

What can I give you in exchange that sounds a little like it except saloperie?

That means something like rubbish or things of no worth.  I first came across it when I was reading Marcel Pagnol's La Gloire de mon Père.  He was in a brocante with his father and they were negotiating to buy something or other (I forget what) and the father said the thing was a mere saloperie.

However, I don't recommend that you try that when you next bargain for something because the vendeur could very well be thoroughly offended Stick out tongue [:P]


Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

I seem to remember captain Haddock said saperlipopette a few times in the Tintin books. Now there's a rich source of unusual vocabulary, mille sabords!

Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

I like the word cochonnerie!
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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

Alors saperlipopette! I like saloperie SW17, I suppose I could use it on my next visit to Emmaus. It could come from the same root as salopette, which means overalls
Cochonnerie is good too Chancer. It sounds very insulting. I looked it up and found "Il ne mange que des cochonneries." (He only eats junk food.)
Better be careful about calling anyone a cochon though, one of its meanings is sex maniac!

Betty you are well read. Can't find sabords even in my Larousse. When would you use mille sabords?

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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

Sorry, Frecossais, I'm not well read at all, just playing! Mille Sabords is Captain Haddock's staple exclamation in Tintin. It has many variations:
Mille sabords!
Mille milliers de mille sabords!
Mille milliers de mille sabords de tonnerre de Brest!

and many others in similar vein. It probably only exists in Tintin and I think in English it becomes "blistering barnacles" although that's not a literal translation!

There's a neat exchange also in one of the Tintin books where Dupont and Dupond (the Thompson Twins, if you're more familiar with the English version) find a gold nugget - une pepite. Their exchanges in the books often involve spoonerisms or similar, and one of them gets a bit tongue tied and says "saperlipepite, une popette!"

Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

I heard cochonnerie for the first time recently - our neighbour's dog comes for walks with us and often finds some disgusting skeleton or skull to chew, carries it all over. I usually tell his owner as sometimes he's sick afterwards. So she said that word, I thought it meant parts of the pig or sanglier which it usually is. But now I know - just rubbish food.

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Re: For Sweet 17 and other word-lovers

 You could also hear one say " Rien d'interessant ; que des cochonneries dans ce vide grenier " .( So it is just like saloperie) .

Both can be considered as offending , so , beware !


Life has a habit of biting you on the bum in ways that you least expect.............



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