8 Insults That Only Work In French

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iStock

by Roger Thomas

The French have a way with insults—even if something is a bit lost in translation.

1. VA TE FAIR VOIRE !

All this means is "Go be seen [somewhere else]!" Mild as it sounds, it's very ill-mannered indeed.

2. ANDOUILLE

While in America we think of Andouille as a smoked Cajun sausage, in France it’s one made from pig intestines—and also an insult meaning you’re bone idle or a dummy.

3. BONHOMME

Yes, it literally means "good man," but roughly translates as "geezer" or "bloke," with contemptuous overtones.

4. UNE VACHE ESPAGNOLE

Is your French poor or your accent inauthentic? If so, you speak the language like "a Spanish cow."

5. TU ME GONFLES.

"You are inflating me." This is a sharp, impolite reprimand to someone who is pushing you, the implication being that anything over-inflated is likely to explode.

6. TA GUEULE !

This is slang for "Your mouth!" It's actually short for "Ferme ta gueule" ("Shut your mouth") but somehow seems even ruder.

7. LAVETTE

Are you weak-willed and indolent? You are a dishcloth, perhaps not unrelated to an English "limp rag."

8. CASSE-TOI !

An instruction to "break yourself." Bugger off, basically.

This $49 Video Game Design Course Will Teach You Everything From Coding to Digital Art Skills

EvgeniyShkolenko/iStock via Getty Images
EvgeniyShkolenko/iStock via Getty Images

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What’s the Difference Between a Tiara and a Crown?

Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images
Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Fancy headgear of any kind is often a dead giveaway that the wearer is of some importance, be it the bride-to-be at a bachelorette party or the Queen of England herself. But while you might refer to those ornate accessories as crowns or tiaras without giving too much thought to which term is most accurate, there are specific differences between the two accessories.

One way to distinguish a crown from a tiara is by looking at who’s wearing it. Traditionally, only sovereigns don crowns, while other members of the royal family and nobility occasionally wear coronets, which are essentially smaller, less elaborate crowns. You don’t have to be royal to wear a tiara, but you do have to be a bride or a married woman (at least if you’re following tradition).

“The tiara has its roots in classical antiquity and was seen as an emblem of the loss of innocence to the crowning of love,” Geoffrey Munn, jewelry expert and author of Tiaras: A History of Splendour, told Town & Country.

According to Insider, there is one exception to this rule: If you’re born a princess, you can wear a tiara when you’re still single. Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter, Princess Anne, for example, wore her mother’s Cartier Halo  tiara during a trip to New Zealand in 1970, a few years before she was married. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, who didn’t hail from royalty, both wore tiaras for the first time on their wedding days.

The designs for tiaras and crowns differ, too. As Jewelry Shopping Guide explains, a crown is always a full circle, while a tiara is sometimes only semi-circular. Crowns are also usually larger—and taller—than tiaras. And though there aren’t any specific rules about what gems or materials crowns and tiaras should include, crowns are often more colorful and ostentatious than tiaras. Britain’s Imperial State Crown, for instance, includes sapphires, rubies, emeralds, purple velvet, and more.

However, since there isn’t a headdress enforcement squad in Britain or anywhere else (at least not one that we know of), there’s no reason you can’t sport a crown during your next Zoom happy hour, royal or not.

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