Friday, April 1, 2011


Crybaby, my Franco-American hybrid kids' pet fan-tailed goldfish must have been on my mind when I went to the chocolate shop. 

One more slip of the tongue, this time on the funnest day of the year in most places in the world, April 1.   In France the April's Fool prank is called a poisson d'avril, literally fish of April. The most common gag here is for school children to stick a cut-out paper fish on the back of a teacher or classmate, then giggle about it.

It's a big day for the chocolatier, too, who makes and sells ribbon-clad chocolate poissons d'avril, usually filled with smaller chocolate fish or fritures. Wanting to buy a chocolate fish on a first of April at our town's chocolatier, I inadvertantly asked the salesgirl for a poisson rouge (goldfish)It was not until after she looked at all of the chocolate poissons d'avril on display, then say that she didn't have a poisson rouge, that both of us realized that I had just pulled her leg.
All of these poissons d'avril were swimming around Aux Colonnes, a chocolatier in Versailles. 
Our prettiest poisson d'avril ever--a Lalique fish.
un poisson:  a fish
un poisson rouge:  a goldfish
une friture:  a small fish
chocolatier, ière:   maker or seller of chocolate
faire marcher quelqu'un:  to pull somebody's leg    
une farce:  a prank
un canular:  a hoax
une plaisanterie:  a joke
Ton lacet est défait:  Your shoelace is untied.

Want more? 
A Fool for Poisson d'Avril

A comedy of errors!
For more language fun, including some of my now famous slips of the tongue :
Sip 'n Slip
Caution: Language Barrier Crossing
Chic, Chickpeas
Madame Malaprop Goes to the Dentist
I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore
It's All in How You Say It
Accidental English
The Artichoke Next Door

Text & photos ©2011 P.B. Lecron

1 comment:

  1. does anyone have an idea where to buy these (ideally in the US?)