July 28, 2010


Site/illustration here.

Défenestrer: Jeter une personne par une fenêtre.
To throw a person out of the window.

Entarter: Jeter une tarte à la crème à la tête de quelqu'un.
To throw a cream pie at someone's head.

These verbs do not exist in English. It brings me so much joy and laughter that they do in French.

One of my friends in St. Tropez had me rolling with laughter as he told me about the "entarteur" (because it is a noun too) - the gentleman named Noël Godin, who goes by "Georges Le Gloupier," whose aim in life is to hit as many puffed up, self-important, humorless people with cream pies as possible. Sarkozy made the list (want to see?). My favorite is the quasi-French philosopher named Bernard-Henri Lévy (known simply in France as "BHL"), who has been entarté as many as 12 times for being a fake philsopher. Ask any French person about this and they will know. For that reason, I love the French. Apparently, Georges le Gloupier will even make radio announcements revealing his next target.

The entarteur describes his occupation with phrases like "tempêtes patissières" (pastry storms). After hitting a prominent and annoying person with a pie, he lays on the ground and pleads that they please not hit him.

Absolutely hilarious. French social resistance = pieing.


Jill said...

I like this post. I have to say I'm surprised by this information, because throwing pies in people faces doesn't strike me as very 'french'(X excluded from this of course) but that's why I like this post so much. I like discovering surprising things. Someone should invent some verbs like these in English.

gaminette said...

In English, we say 'defenestrate,' as in: "Lucky for you that these windows don't open any wider because I'm about to defenestrate you for entarting me."

Marnie said...

How fabulous!!

Emilie said...

defenestrate. daniele, your sense of humor is priceless. thank goodness i get to work with you every single day.

Anonymous said...

Really love your blog, Emilie, it's a true education in France (where I'll eventually end up --- I'm an ex-pat in another much harder and weirder country right now) but gaminette is not kidding: "defenestrate" truly is an English verb. Not that it's used much. But you come across it in history books, for example: "In 1622, the Bohemian King Whatever had his leading courtiers defenestrated from Prague Castle." That sort of thing.

Emilie said...

daniele. bravo. a real verb. and anonymous, i love the in context illustration of the verb. that sort of thing is fantastic.

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