31 October 2010

Le Bouchon

Yesterday my friend needed to go to the airport and she entrusted me with the responsibility of bringing her car home.  I am happy to report that despite the bumper-to-bumper traffic, I didn't stall . . . not even once! 

But sitting there on the Boulevard Péripérique (France's largest parking lot), I got to thinking about term in French for 'traffic jam':  le bouchon.  Literally: cork.

Also can mean: cap, lid, stopper, plug.

So I was reflecting on the lovely imagery of this word . . . a cork.  Used to plug a bottle of wine.  It can't go anywhere.  It just has to wait.  And age. 

When I looked up the word to find other contexts in which it is used I found two expressions that I like:
Un bouchon de carafe (a big diamond . . . or as we American's say: a little bit of 'bling bling')
Tu pousses le bouchon un peu loin ('you're really pushing it' . . . I've been looking for a way to say that!)
So there you have it.  Langage lesson of the day.

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