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:
- 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.)
- Noël sous le neige: white Christmas, but literally “Christmas under the snow.” How I love Christmas when it is under the snow!
- 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”.