Friday, April 12, 2013


Les toits d'ardoise de Chinon
Slate roofs in Chinon overlooking the Vienne river in the center of France.

un toit :  a roof
ardoise:  slate

Avoir une ardoise:  to have an account or debt for drinks in a bar or cafĂ©

©2013 P.B. Lecron


  1. Your wonderful vocabulary tips of course always teach me something new about French, but you might be surprised how often they make me think anew about English as well! Here the connection (obvious once you think about it) is with a "clean slate"--a small chalkboard, capable of being "wiped clean", for the temporary storage of debts, school demerits, etc. Little squares of slate, cheaper than the classical wax tablets, were used since medieval times in the schools.Now all I have to figure out is the British "buying something on tick" and the American "put it on my tab".

  2. Thanks! I have no idea for the phrase "buying something on tick," but I would venture to say that "tab" might be short for tablet.