Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
#64475 04/08/02 12:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
P
paulb Offline OP
addict
OP Offline
addict
P
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
from John Bayley's "Iris: a memoir of Iris Murdoch":

[Iris] herself was devoted at that time to the adventures of Tintin, the perky young Belgian 'boy reporter' invented by Herge … I have learnt a lot of French from the Tintin books, mostly idioms now outdated, which we used to repeat to each other on suitable occasions. There was a moment when the villains had hired a diver to go down and attach a limpet mine to the good characters' ship. Just as he is fixing it the anchor happens to be released from up above, banging him on the head and knocking him and his mine down into the depths. 'Fichu metier!' he remarks philosophically into his diving helmet. A comment whose pithiness is as intranslatable as poetry.

Rough translation, anybody?


#64476 04/08/02 12:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
S
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
S
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
fichu: damn!
métier: job; occupation

Sounds as if the diver is muttering about what a lousy job he has.


#64477 04/08/02 01:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
W
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
Rough job = Tu fais un fichu métier. ...


#64478 04/08/02 03:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
W
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Dear Bill,

Thanks for the rough job application. So, if you have to do something disagreeable--say you're sittin' up there on the horns of a dilemma and don't know which way to go--this "rough job" application would work, right?

Best regards,
WordWrestling


#64479 04/08/02 06:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
W
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
Dear WW: I just entered "fichu métier" into Yahoo search box and up came dozens of sentences using it. I couldn't get exact translation, but could get a sort of common denominator.


#64480 04/08/02 08:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
W
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
And why is it, when I look at the word fichu I see an old-fashioned woman with a large white collar? Is there a word that looks like fichu that is an article of clothing?

Best regards,
WordWrecked


#64481 04/08/02 08:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
W
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
fich[u 7fi*41; Fr fc *=$8
n.
5Fr < pp. of ficher, to thrust in, attach < VL *figicare, for L figere, FIX6 a three-cornered lace or muslin cape for women, worn with the ends fastened or crossed in front



#64482 04/08/02 09:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
W
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Dear Bill,

Well, it's good to know there's still some things floating around in my brain that have their relation to reality. Thanks for your research. Now: what's the connection between the article of clothing and the expletive, I wonder?

Best regards,
DubDub


#64483 04/09/02 01:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
W
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
Dear belMarduk: we need you badly.


#64484 04/09/02 02:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,289
B
veteran
Offline
veteran
B
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,289
Can't sub for Bel, but can tell you of a colloquial French expression: Je m'en fiche. Meaning, more politely, "the hell with it"; less politely, "f..k it."

Then you get creative with this expression. One character in a book I read got so frustrated over a situation he shouted, "Je m'en fiche. Je m'en refiche, et je m'en contrefiche." (The same expression with intensifiers.)


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,912
Posts229,237
Members9,179
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
TRIALNERRA, befuddledmind, KILL_YOUR_SUV, Heather_Turey, Standy
9,179 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (wofahulicodoc), 294 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
wofahulicodoc 10,484
LukeJavan8 9,912
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5