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Cowing Around in the Morning, Québec-Style

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Louis in Reno, Nevada, grew up in Montreal, Canada, speaking Québécois French. His father was fond of saying j’aime vacher le matin, puis je prends mon temps, meaning “I like to loaf and take my time in the morning.” Vacher comes from French vache, “cow,” and the verb vacher has to do with the idea of cows being seen as idle or lazy. A similar expression used in France is avoir l’air d’une vache qui regarde passer un train, literally, “to look like a cow gazing at a passing train.” A different animal is represented in another phrase along these lines in Québécois French: chienner, or metaphorically, “to be lazy like a dog.” For more about Québécois, check out the Dictionnaire Québécois D’aujourd’hui (Amazon) This is part of a complete episode.

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