Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fermez la bouche

In my last post, I spoke of the idiom, "Sans ouvrir la bouche." The phrase in English translates as "without saying a word," but the French prefer to speak of the mouth, la bouche.

My grandmother was French. She was born in la petite ville de Lorraine Graffigny près de la forêt des Vosges. She did not teach me French, instead I had to learn the hard way, by going to school. But, I do remember the phrase, "Fermez la bouche,"  shut your mouth. If one says it gentiment, it almost sounds polite.

I am sitting in French class the other day when le prof starts to talk about professions. And she says, "le boucher," the butcher. It has nothing to do, I think, with la bouche, the mouth. It is just one of those silly coincidences that pop up in any language. Instead, le boucher stems from le bouchon, the pig.

It is just one of those silly things that makes a kid laugh.

C'est juste une de ces choses stupides. Il fait un gamin rire.