Saturday, August 20, 2011


So with my niece having been here, it made me think about some of the previous times she came.  I love her to death, but she's 8 years old and a girl.  I just can't get into playing Barbies or Smurfs myself.  Give me a pack of Hot Wheels and I could amuse myself for hours probably, but I digress...  So she loves to play Barbies, and it's always the same stories.  I think a lot of kids do this though, because I remember the soap opera that my brother and sisters and I had going.  Ask me to explain about "the Cute Bunchies" someday.  Those are stories that will curl your hair.

So naturally, with the three of us here, my partner often is drafted into passing sometimes 2 or 3 hour sessions of Barbies.  Considering how well he can stomach it, I have no doubt who will be playing with our daughters.  Now normally he has a good time, but there are some nights where he was just exhausted.  He worked an almost 12 hour day, and now he comes home and gets to spend two hours minimum recounting the previous episode of "Winx" that she just saw on Teletoon.  But she wants to play with her Ton Ton, and I can't blame her.  But well, her uncle is exhausted after work, and the other one has to ask you to repeat what you just said.  So finally, one night, the four of us decided to play with my mother in law.

So, I'm expecting it to be very calm and very story driven, and I was thinking this was going to just be a nice little story about some happy little thing.  Well, it started out that way, but I could tell that my mother in law was getting a bit tired, so she started making the story interesting for herself.  So it's actually starting to get good now, and I think it's hilarious, and as we're playing, my mother in law has one of the Barbies say, "Tais-toi, blondasse!"  My partner and my niece were on the floor laughing. 

Now thinking of the word, I had worked out that it had something to do with the fact that she was blonde, but I had only had a few experiences with words ending in -asse.  For Francophones, the first two that may come to mind are the ever popular connasse, and the less directly said pétasse.  These words are not for polite company.  Knowing that, I was a bit taken back that she would use them so freely with her fairly young granddaughter.  However, my mother in law actually was born speaking French, so maybe I'm missing something.

Asking my partner about it later, he told me it's just like what you would call a bubble headed bleach blonde in English.  From what I've seen on the internet, they translate it as a brassy blonde, most likely to mean a fake blonde.  So as near as I can tell, it's like calling someone Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith.

Now, like I said most other words in this classification are not for polite use.  Connasse, for example, basically means dumb bitch. Connasse is the feminine form of connard.  It comes from the widely used Indo-European root meaning vagina.  In English, it shares the same root as cunt.  Pétasse, conversely, is more about being slutty.  It's roughly the equivalent of slut, but from when I've heard it used, it tends to mean a piece on the side.  It is very similar to the British English slang word slapper.  It originates as a form of péter, meaning to break.There's also the more familar radasse, which would probably just work out to ho, much like the ever interesting putasse. 

There are a few other words that fit in this category.  One that has always amused me is poufiasse.  Technically, it works out to the oft neglected English word floozy.  I have heard the word in three places I can think of, but I really believe it's an underused, and beautiful word.  Another fun word is grognasse, meaning a grumpy bitch.  Chaudasse usually means someone who has sex a lot, so my preferred translation is ever classic hot pants. 

However, words of this group don't necessarily have to have a sexual connotation.  In fact, -asse as an ending is really only a familiar form.  Bonasse usually works out to meek, and fadasse is used for dull. Feignasse is usually translated as a lazy ass, but cocasse tends to mean comical.  Dinde and asse put together make dindasse, or more simply put in English, stupid like a turkey.  Hommasse is the equivalent of butch, but more like tomboy than lesbian.  Finally, one you'll hear more often is godasse, which is like saying kicks instead of shoes in English. 

In truth, when you see -asse at the end of a word, think familiar, and in some cases, low quality.  The real functionality of -asse is mostly just to denote familiarity, and as a result of that familiarity, a lack of respect.  I am sure there are other forms, but these are just the one's a found the most amusing.  These are words you'll hear, but in reality, it's best to avoid if at all possible.  The best advice I can give you is when you hear one of these words, smile to yourself, and keep it going, because if you use it yourself, someone's going to correct you.


  1. Whenever my niece comes to visit we end up playing tea you know how long a tea party with no tea, fake cake and stuffed animals as guest can go on for....eternity :)

  2. LOL! And what about "mélasse"? ;)
    And not to mention most verbs in -er at the subjonctif imparfait 1ère et 2e personnes du singulier that end in -asse and -asses!!!

    que je mangeasse
    que tu mangeasses

    We're not so munch into "asse" over here! And as for the subjonctif imparfait... it's DEAD! LOL!

  3. Yeah, it's amazing how potent kid's imaginations are. How old is your niece?

  4. I hate the subjunctive more than anything else in language. It's why I stopped taking French at 103 level. Fasse, prenne, ailles, and aie took me two years to get through my skull. I get brain cramps every time I see eue or hear font.