Quebec French Lexicon - Other Differences

Other Differences

Like most world reaching languages there are regional differences. Even within Quebec there are regional uses of words or expression. Here are some other differences between standard Quebec French and European French:

Quebec term Translation Meaning of term in Europe European term Note
Char Car Tank (military assault vehicle) Voiture
Abreuvoir Water fountain Watering place for animals Fontaine Used only for animals in Europe (or for comical effect)
Achalandage Traffic (of a store, street, public transit) Stock, merchandise, clientele (archaic) Circulation, Embouteillage, bouchon
Arrêt A stop or command to stop Stop Used on all stop signs. Also used as arrêt d'autobus, "prochain arrêt", etc.
Aubaine Sale Opportunity Promotion An item is une aubaine but en promotion
Baccalauréat Bachelor's degree High school leaving exam or diploma Licence
Barrer To lock To block or to strike through Fermer à clé, verrouiller Quebec usage archaic in Europe
Bête Disagreeable (person) Stupid Désagréable, impoli European usage also used in Quebec
Blé d'Inde Corn (North American usage) Maïs Maïs also standard in Quebec when referring to the kernels, aka Mais éclatée (or soufflée)popped corn. Blé d'Inde is always used to refer to the whole stalk, aka corn on the cob.
Brosse Drinking binge Brush Cuite
Cartable Binder School bag, Satchel Classeur See also classeur
Cédule Schedule Tax bracket (archaic) Emploi du temps / Agenda
Chandail T-shirt, sweater, sweatshirt Knit sweater Pull / Tee-shirt,
Choquer To anger To shock Fâcher
Classeur Filing cabinet Binder Armoire à dossier See also cartable
Correct Good, sufficient, kind, O.K. corrected bon, juste.
Coupe glacée Ice cream sundae coupe de glace de la glace a(u) chocolat/la fraise, etc. An ice cream stand is known as a bar laitier or Crèmerie (in France, a glacier)
Croche Crooked; strange, dishonest Eighth note curieux / bizarre / étrange
Crème glacée Ice cream de la glace An ice cream stand is known as a bar laitier or Crèmerie (in France, a glacier)
Débarbouillette Dishrag, washcloth, (glove) gant de toilette
Débarquer Get out of (a car, etc.) Disembark (from a boat) Descendre
Débrouiller To figure things out by onself, to get out of a jam To clear up (from brouillard i.e. fog) as in one's thoughts
Déjeuner Breakfast Lunch Petit déjeuner See also dîner, souper. Qc. usage same as in Belgium, Switzerland and Occitania (Occitan dejunar ).
Déniaiser To get ones act together, sexually to loosen up
Dîner Lunch Dinner Déjeuner Qc. usage same as in Belgium, Switzerland, and Occitania (Occitan dinnar ). Dîner as "dinner/evening meal" is standard in formal settings and upscale milieux, such as business, military, diplomatic circles, society dinner party, or an upscale restaurant. In Quebec, the evening meal is "le souper".
Efface Eraser Gomme Gomme is used for chewing-gum
Épais Dumb, slow-witted Thick Con Con is also in usage in Quebec with the same meaning.
Espadrilles Running shoes Rope-soled sandal Baskets / Tennis / Chaussures de sport
Être plein To be full (from eating) pleine: to be pregnant; to be drunk être bourré / Avoir trop mangé
Familiale Station wagon Estate car un Break (voiture)
Fesser To hit To spank Frapper
Fête Birthday Saint's day Anniversaire
Football Gridiron football Association football football canadien / football américain This usage of football to mean the local code or its closely related U.S. cousin is so uniform throughout Canada that the governing body for association football in Quebec is officially the Fédération de soccer du Québec.
Innocent Stupid Innocent, naive Imbécile
Insignifiant Stupid Insignificant, unremarkable Imbécile
Linge Clothes Linen Vêtements
Liqueur Carbonated beverage Liquor, liqueur Soda
Magasiner To go shopping Faire des courses, faire les magasins, du lèche-vitrine (fam.)
Maringouin Mosquito Moustique
Mouiller To rain To wet Pleuvoir
Niaiser Annoy, tease, kid, act up (doesn't exist as a verb; niais="stupid") Se moquer or (hum) dire des niaiseries Déniaiser (Eu) is to make a man lose his virginity. J'avais juste vingt ans et je me déniaisais/ Au bordel ambulant d'une armée en campagne (Brel)
Niaiseux (niaiseuse) An idiot, a fool, an annoying and childish person niais="stupid", "simpleton" Can be said to describe a thing too, like : "C'est donc ben niaiseux ce film là!"(this movie is really dumb!).
Niaiserie, Niaisage Something that is dumb, childish, frivolous and a waste of time Connerie Usually used to describe things that a "Niaiseux" does.
Patate Potato Potato (informal term) Pomme de terre Tu es dans les patates!, told to someone who acts out of, or makes a statement while being unaware of what is going on. Europe = Être à côté de la plaque
Peser sur Press (a button) Weigh Appuyer, enfoncer
La plaque (d'immatriculation) License plate License plate Les plaques (mineralogiques) The French license plate codes are based on a system developed by the mining authorities; Quebec requires only a rear plate on cars and pickup trucks. ("Les plaques d'immatriculation" is used on both sides, especially when speaking of vehicles registered in Switzerland, Ontario, Belgium, the Maritimes...)
Poudrerie Blizzard, blowing snow Gunpowder factory Blizzard, tempête de neige, rafales de (neige) poudreuse
Rentrer Enter Re-enter Entrer In Quebec, "re-enter" is rerentrer. Note that colloquial French also uses "rentrer" and "rerentrer" with the same meanings as in Quebec.
Sans-cœur Mean Heartless Méchant
Soccer Association football Originally British slang for association football (see Oxford "-er"), but now generally considered an Americanism in most of Europe (however, in Ireland, "soccer" is the most common term for this sport) Foot / Football See note on Football above.
Souper Supper Late-night dinner Dîner Quebec usage same as in Belgium, Switzerland and Occitania (Occitan sopar ). See also déjeuner, dîner. In formal and upscale settings, the international practice is followed i.e. dîner is the evening meal while "souper" is a late-night, informal meal.
Suçon Lollipop Hickey Sucette and vice-versa: a sucette is a hickey or fellatio in Quebec
Téléroman Soap opera A soap opera or a continuing series Feuilleton
Thé glacé Iced Tea Ice Tea
Touché (gridiron football) Touchdown Not used in this sense in Europe. (In all forms of French, the word is used as the past participle of toucher, as well as a fencing term.) Touchdown See Touchdown Atlantic for an example of the use of touché in reference to Canadian football.
Valise Trunk of a car Suitcase (also in QC) Coffre
Vidanges Garbage Act of emptying Ordures Vidange in France is an oil change for the car (auto), and also an empty bottle in Belgium

Many, but not all, of the European equivalents for the words listed above are also used or at least understood in Quebec.

Read more about this topic:  Quebec French Lexicon

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