Opinion

Patois: Last of the letter C

L’beau temps est arrivée enfin. Ca fait du bien s’promener d’hôre pi même prendre un p’tit somme su’ l’peron.

J’vous souhaite un printemps beau et chaud pi j’me souhaite la même chôse. Voici l’reste de la lettre C:

côre d’abbe – fallen tree

corne au talonliterally: corn on the heel; corn on a foot

cornifleu – nosey person

cornoiller – butted, gored

Corrécutte – Connecticut

cortons – pork paté

cosse ça mange l’hiver: – literally: what does it eat in winter?; what is this thing?; who is that person?

cosse qui dit pi cosse qui shie, c’est la mîme chôse – literally: what he says and what he sh*ts are the same thing; liar, bullsh*tter

cosse tu connais dans l’pette d’un ours?literally: what do you know about bear farts?; mind your own business; you don’t know what you’re talking about

cosse tu connais dans ’a pense du bédeauliterally: what do you know about the sectant’s stomach?; mind your own business; you don’t know what you’re talking about?

cosse tu pense d’la guerre?literally: what do you think of the war?; conversation starter, facetiously

coucher soure la linghe a butinliterally: sleep under the clothesline;  appear rumpled, bleary-eyed

coudon – expression of surprise, as in, “Coudon, cosse tu fait icitte, toué?”

couenne de lard – pork rind

coup d’botteliterally: boot strike; kick

coup d’pouceliterally: thumb strike; lend a hand

couper d’la pitoune – harvest lumber in the woods

couper l’siffletteliterally: cut the whistle; interrupt

coupe gorge – cutthroat

courire a plein vente – literally: run on a stomach; go very fast

courire l’ventre a basliterally: run with the stomach down; go very fast

cour éyusqu’y a pas d’maison!literally: run where there aren’t any houses; hurry!

couter des bidous – very expensive

couvarte – blanket

couvarture – roof

crache en l’aire, tombe su’l’nez literally: spit in the air, fall on the nose; don’t boast; revenge is sweet; I’ll get you!

crache pitoune – spittoon

crampé – crowded together; or very drunk

crainque la bombe – literally: crank the bomb; turn up the heat under the kettle

crapotte/crapeau – frog

craquéliterally: cracked; crazy

créature – attractive woman

cremeuse – old vehicle

crêpe de farine blancheliterally: white-flour pancake; plain flour pancakes, flapjacks

crêve faimliterally: starving; bum, one who refuses to work

crie – get, fetch

crigne de jueu – handful of hair; “bad” hair; unruly cowlick

croche – dishonest; curve in the road

Croche des Dindes – sharp curve on U.S. Rte. 1 between Notre-Dame and Keegan, Maine (straightened in the 1990s)

croquer des noisettes – break open hazelnuts with the teeth

croquette – a snack or a light meal

crotte de nezliterally: snot; worthless person

Don Levesque is a Grand Isle native who worked in community journalism for almost 35 years. He was the publisher and editor of the St. John Valley Times for 15 years prior to retiring in 2010. He wrote a weekly newspaper column, called Mon 5¢, in the Valley Times for more than 20 years. He has been inducted into the Maine Journalism Hall of Fame and the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame.

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