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The Earful Tower: Paris

The Earful Tower: Figuring out France with guests who know best. 

May 3, 2017

We asked for your least favourite French words (after we did your favourite words in episode 15.)

And so, here are the worst words in the French language.

1. Serrurerie (locksmiths) says Kevin Knight of Expatriates Magazine Paris. 

"I just can't get my mouth around it and on the rare occasion I need to use it my mouth goes into gymnastics and I look ridiculous," he says.

2. Aurore, the name, says Diane who runs Oui in France.

"It is so difficult! It comes out more like horreur if I'm not paying attention," she says.

3. Blogguese (a female blogger), says Clothilde from Chocolate and Zuccini.

"The sound of it is very ugly, so I always say I write a blog instead."

4. Furure (fur) says Maggie Kim of Les Lolos.

"Impossible to pronounce, I try and avoid the word. I just say it in English."

5. Putain (whore), says Gail of Perfectly Paris.

"I get so sick of hearing this word, everyone is using it every five seconds."

6. Bah oui, a filler word, says author Lauren Collins

"I can't stand it. It's my least favourite filler word in the French language," she says.

7. Ben, bon (more filler words), says author Lindsey Tramuta.

"They're just drawn out words that don't sound much like French," she says.

8. Interdit (forbidden), says Veronique from French Girl in Seattle.

"When you grow up in France, you see the word everywhere! The word is so final and unpleasant, and it typically comes with that horrid bright red sign, in case you are too daft to understand."

9. Grenouille (frog), says Guy Griffin of Café Oberkampf

"When I got to France all the kids teased me and made me say it, it took about 2 years before I could say it," he says.

10. Huit/Huitre (eight/oyster), says author Emily Monaco.

"I hate the words because they sound the same," she says.

11. Acceuil (welcome) says Lina, our graphic designer.

"It sounds like a dying war cry," she says.

12. Bourgueil (a place and a wine), says Jennifer from Chez loulou

"It's not because I don't like the town or the wine, quite the opposite in fact, but because I can NEVER pronounce it correctly," she says.

13. Bouilloire (kettle), Lily from Paris je t'aime.

"It has all the horrible letters and it's impossible for anglophones to pronounce."

14. Rentrée (back from holidays), says Corey Frye the tour guide.

"It's all about hurtling back to reality, like a spaceship coming back into the atmosphere."

15. Ecureuil says Frank from Cake boy Paris.

"I've had more than a few embarrassing moments trying to pronounce my dog's favourite fixation. This word makes me so squirrelly!"

16. Animateur, says translator Jann.

It can mean anything from a party clown to an MC, there are too many definitions of it.

17. Truc (thingy) says Sarah the interpreter.

"It's overused, too much meaning crammed into a tiny word."

18. Crouttes (crust or scab), says producer James.

"Mixing food and scabs is never great," he says.

19. En haut (upstairs), says host Oliver.

"I can't pronounce it and it gets me mixed up."