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As a follow up for our previous article that was very popular with our readers, here is some more fun French knowledge to have under your hat next time you need to sound more "like a local"! This excerpt from Know-it-all passport® 11th edition, pages 461-463, will help you fit in! Click here for part one that we published on the 10th August 2020!

Can you complete these sentences? Choose from these words to fill out the sentences*.




* click here for answers.

English-speaking people are usually taught to count 1 to 5 starting with the index finger as 1, and the thumb as 5. In Switzerland the thumb is 1, the index 2, and so on. Be careful if you want one drink and hold up your index finger, as this is some­times mistaken for 2!

Bricoler is not slang. It basically means “to fiddle”, “to tinker”, to do manual labor as an amateur.
The derived noun, le bricolage, can be best translated as “do-it-yourself”. Hardware stores are magasins de bricolage.

It can also be used to describe a patched job:
J’ai cloué le pied de la chaise, mais c’est du bricolage. J’espère que ça tient.
I nailed the leg back on the chair, but it’s amateur work. I hope it holds.

Un bricoleur is a handyman; someone who is skilled at DIY or enjoys it. The feminine form is bricoleuse.
Je suis un bricoleur. J’adore bricoler ma voiture le dimanche dans mon garage.
I am a handyman. I love tinkering with my car in the garage on Sunday.

Une bricole, however, has a different meaning. It can mean “a little thing.”
J’achète souvent des bricoles dans les magasins de jouets.
I often buy trinkets in toy shops.

But it can also mean “trouble” (in the plural).
→ Elle a l’habitude d’attirer des bricoles!
She’s used to attracting trouble!


Claquer is a word with many meanings. The basic meaning of claquer is “to flap”, “to crack”, “to slam” claquer la porte: “to slam the door”.

Colloquially, it also means “to spend money”.
T’as vraiment claqué cinquante balles pour un T-shirt ?
Did you really spend fifty francs on a T-shirt?

It can also mean “to die”, usually in an unexpected manner.
J’étais super malade la semaine dernière, j’ai cru que j’allais claquer.
I was really sick last week, I thought I was going to kick the bucket.

Finally, the adjective claqué means “very tired”.
J’ai eu une longue journée, je suis claqué.
I had a long day, I’m exhausted.



CH thumbClick here to read part 1.



KIAP11 5booksin3DMake sure to buy your copy of Know-it-all passport to get lots more local tips, info, and recommendations. The 11th edition is sold at the following locations, click here.