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Caution: Genius At Work

So, guess who came to work and left his laptop in the hotel room?

To be exceedingly fair to myself — more than I deserve, honestly — the latest security patches pushed by IT make it a very slow process to shut down. I started the shutdown, did some other things waiting for it to complete (can’t put a running laptop in the laptop bag, it’ll melt) and spaced on competing that key task. I’m not going to be able to post properly today — two fingered typing on a phone sucks for long texts — or at least not until far later. Mea culpable, I’ll try not to be so incredibly stupid tomorrow.

You know what that means Gary, it’s time for the French Curse Word Lesson of the Day!

Lesson 3: « Bordel »

« Bordel » [b?rd?l] (noun, masculine grammatical gender)

Prononciation guide: exactly like « bord d’aile ».

Literally, means “a house of prostitution”, but it is must often used figuratively to mean “a mess”, as in, for instance, « Range ton bordel! ». The mess itself can be literal or figurative, and the speaker can insist on the scale of the mess in a few different ways: « Un sacré bordel régnait dans sa chambre » or « La politique est un gros bordel ».

The word is sometimes used as an exclamation, though not commonly enough to have a standard saving throw.

Expressions exist: you can say something or someone is creating a mess with « mettre le bordel », « foutre le bordel », or sometimes « semer le bordel », though the latter can only apply to persons.

It can of course be combined with the previously seen curse words: « un putain de bordel » is not a prostitute working in a house, but simply further emphasis on a situation being a mess; « bordel de merde » is common as well, mostly as an exclamation.

The main derivative is « bordélique » and means the quality of being a mess.

Concrete application: « Ils ne devraient pas envoyer autant de patchs à la fois, ça fait un trop gros bordel à l’extinction! »

Bonus: « bronx » is a slang variant for « bordel » (with apologies to the respectable New York City borough), so now you can understand the title of the panel used as header image of this post.

[…] first, thanks to Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin for entertaining us all with lessons in effective French cursing during yesterday’s self-inflicted […]

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