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No. 73: Fun Christmas Words

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a language post, but I’ve come across several holiday words and phrases in the last few days that have made me grin. Here is a petite sample:

le bonhomme de neige, a good old chap made of snow (or in this case lights)

le bonhomme de neige, a good old chap made of snow (or in this case lights)

  • Un bonhomme de neige: a snowman, but literally a snow “chap”, “fellow”, or “old sport”.  I love the jovial image that one conjures up, and it makes me wonder if a gingerbread man is called “un bonhomme pain d’épice”, because, after all, they are quite jolly fellows too. (Please do let me know.)IMG_2201
  • Noël sous le neige: white Christmas, but literally “Christmas under the snow.” How I love Christmas when it is under the snow!
  • canne à sucre: a candy cane, but literally a sugar stick, nothing like calling a spade a spade.IMG_2218
  • Père Fouettard: the boogeyman (who tags along with Saint Nicolas, and depending on the family, hands out coal to the naughty children, or in the worse case scenario, flogs the child); literally “father spanker” or “father whipper”.Hans_Trapp
  • Noël malin: Christmas sales, but literally “shrewd Christmas”; obviously only for those clever enough to shop the sales.
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