Opinion

Les lettres O pi P

Here is a very very old riddle en français: 

“Tonthétutatoux?”

What does it mean? 

En voici une autre:

“Latteôtétrouyest”

What does this say?

Réponses le mois prochain.

En tous cas, le mois d’avril arrive en fin. J’espère que les grosses tempêtes de neige son fini pour s’t’hiver.

Moi shu prèt pour du beau temps chaud et même un peut d’humidité.

En attendant l’mois d’mai, voici les lettres O et P:

obédon – or else

on a jamais eu une crotte de voléliterally: we never had a turd stolen; why we never lock our doors; don’t be overcautious

on bati pas une égliseliterally: we’re not building a church; it’s good enough as it is

ont s’grafigne pas les yeux avec des branchesliterally: we don’t scratch our eyes with branches; we’re moving up in society

on s’la woiraliterally: we’ll see each others; see you later

ote – remove, as in, ote ta ch’mise, or ote toué de d’la

o-vert-all (over all) – blue jeans

P

pas étile – useless

pandore – affectionate term for small mischievous male child

Papineault – a man named Pelletier from Eagle Lake who died in a patch of woods outside Fort Kent on the Frenchville Road in the late 1940s or early 1950s

pas d’t’afaite – not quite

pas pour sauver ça mére su’l’potte – literally: not to save his mother on the (piss)pot; one who categorically refuses to do something

patate literally: potato; large wind-up alarm clock

patates a Bernardliterally: Bernard’s potatoes; once a popular local dish patates tranchées très minces avec grillades de porc ou boeuf

pas un chien! literally: not a dog!; nobody

pavina – highbush cranberry

petteu d’brou literally: to fart foam; bullshit artist

Pisahgô – What’sisname

piyainque – only, as in “j’en est piyainque deuses.”

place de bancliterally: place on the bench; annual cost to reserve a church pew for your family; rental or lease amount

plusse tu brasse d’la marde, plusse que ça pu – literally: the more you stir shit, the more in stinks; leave well enough alone

pôrôt – leek

poulette grasse literally: fat chick(en); beach plum (supposedly “delicious”)

porte-a-feuilleliterally: sheet carrier; wallet or purse

porter l’buckette – literally: carry the bucket; be the last one

p’tit coeur de pouleliterally: little chicken heart; easily nauseated

puni su’l’champliterally: punished on the field; punished in the act (while doing something bad or evil)

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.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.