28 September 2007

A word for the week

Now for a brief interruption in the travelogue. When I got back from Paris, I gradually developed a severe chest cold. In French, one term used to describe this affliction is a familiar, slangy term, la crève. The only translation my French-English dictionary gives for la crève in this sense is the very boring "a bad cold." A lousy cold.

The definition in the Grand Robert dictionary

Crève (pronounced krehv) derives from the verb crever (kruh-VAY), which means to pop, puncture, or burst something, like a balloon, a ball, or a tire. In slang, it means to die, and the adjective crevé (also kruh-VAY) is often used to mean exhausted.

You can see the meaning: you are so tired you think you might die, or you are so sick you think you might. Well, moi, j'ai la crève depuis lundi. I've been sicker than a dog since Monday. Yesterday I thought I was getting better, but today I'm definitely feeling worse. Je suis complètement crevé.

I'll continue my travelogue tomorrow with a report on the Mont Saint-Michel and a report on my day in Paris with Joanna and Janice. Health permitting.

Bonne santé, tout le monde.

5 comments:

  1. Poor Ken! Having la crève is such a drag!
    Hope you get well soon.
    Moi, je crève de froid!

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  2. I hope you're feeling better soon, Ken! I only knew of the exhausted meaning for crève- a friend uses it a lot in that respect.

    Looking forward to MSM;-)

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  3. Chicken soup -- that's what you need. Surely you must have some in the freezer. Feel better soon.

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  4. I had a deadly, but blissfully, short, "crève" at the same time you did! I'm better now and I hope you are too...

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