Fun With French: From Cabbages to Owls
My oldest daughter MamaOzzy is learning French using an app called DuoLingo . When she's practising, she often asks me to verify her pronunciation. I've started to speak to her more in French throughout the day, and of course to praise her on her learning.
One of the expressions I used when I was congratulating her on her performance last week was “ ma chouette .” It's a term of endearment I've heard for years, but never really learned to translate literally.
Because the word “ chou ” (French for cabbage) occurs in this expression, and knowing that another endearment used in French is “ mon petit chou ” - literally “my little cabbage” - I'd always assumed that “ ma chouette ” was just a diminutive of that former expression.
I was wrong!
In fact, I couldn't have be further off base. It turns out that a “ chouette ” is actually a kind of owl !
“ Chouette ” sounds kind of like “ shwet ” to and English speaker. It is used both as a term of endearment, and also to indicate that something is pleasing (e.g. a cool shirt.) It can also be used as an interjection, in place of a word like, “Super!” or, “Great!”
I'll end with a link for a video you can enjoy even if you don't understand French . It's a birthing story performed by Lynda Lemay , a singer-songwriter from Quebec. In this song, Lynda is put off by the nurse insisting on calling her, “ ma chouette ”!
This post is part of Dawnwriter 's A-W Category Challenge .
Image credit: Owl by Chräcker Heller/Pixabay (CC0 1.0)
Source: “ Chouette ” (Dictionnaire de la langue française)
Note: This article was migrated from Bubblews, where it was originally published
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/owl-bird-eyes-eagle-owl-birds-50267/