Monday, April 8, 2013


This vintage brand soap smells good! An inexpensive and practical souvenir to take home--and available in les grands surfaces, French supermarkets that sell everything from textiles to tomatoes and televisions.

Passer le savon: literally to pass the soap; to moralize or to put someone in his place, or to reprimand
This expression dates to the 17th century when French women, who when washing clothes at the community wash-shed would exchange juicy gossip at the same time as they shared a bar of soap.

un pain de savon:  a bar of soap
un lavoir:  a wash-shed or tub
un potin:  an item of gossip
passer un savon:  to give a dressing down

©2013 P.B. Lecron

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