Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Challenge

“The Challenge” appears every week in the Globe and Mail, one of our national newspapers. It is a time to play with language and get creative. Some weeks prove to be far more interesting than others. Last week’s challenge proved to be one of those weeks. The challenge was to amend a foreign-language phrase that is well known in English and provide a new translation. Here are some examples of what transpired:

Bomb de plume: a book so bad it was published under a pseudonym.

Femme fetal: dangerous since birth.

DJ vu: this club is so passé

Ménage, à toi: Honey, it’s your turn to do the house cleaning.

In vitro veritas: paternity test.

Déjà vous: I didn’t expect you to be here so soon.

Snoop du jour: Employee Recognition Day at CSIS (Canada’s secret service).

Person known gratis: a free-loader

Que sera, Saran: What will be left over will be wrapped up.

No bless oblige: We aren’t required to let you take communion.

I would love to hear any that you would like to add. Let the challenge begin.


Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

wow. i dunno...i find it tough enough to get the english phrases right!

thanks for the laughs...i'm just not bright enough at this hour to come up with a thing. sorry.


sandi @ the whistlesotp cafe said...

How 'bout this for a try?
Ciao-ciao... what we eat on our hotdogs in alabama.

Sirdar said...

I don't get the Post but I like the Challange.

Ménage, à toi? Hmmm...not sure the answer is correct there :-)

Love the CSIS answer.

You'll have to post more when they are good.

Carla said...

Pinks, I'm not even sure about the's a tough challenge. I'd really have to sit down and think about it. Right now all I'm coming up with is what I could say about Carpe Diem...but then I'm sure that one has been played many times before.

Carla said...

Sandi, Thanks for playing along. That's great.

Sirdar, Yes, that one gave me a chuckle as well.

The Fool said...

Oh, I'll play, Nomad:

reductio ad absurdum: taping an ad reminder to the fridge w/duct tape

ipso facto: street slang for "true"

tour de force: U.S. presence in Iraq

ipsissima verba: good weed

hors d'oeurves: dancing dervishes of the night

Cheryl said...

Some of those were really funny, thanks for posting them!

PortraitofPeter said...

Sorry, Carla - I wave the white flag.

I just cannot compete with such great phrases!!

Wel done.

Steffi said...

Cool challenge.It´s interesting to read for me!Thanks,Carla!

Trella said...

I love this post, but I don't think I will do well at the challenge. So, I will not try!

Carla said...

Fool, Those are fabulous. Thanks for joining in.

Cheryl, I'm glad they gave you a chuckle.

Carla said...

Peter, I know, it's tough. One really must be in the right frame of mind to play such a game.

Steffi, You are more than welcome.

Carla said...

Trella, That's absolutely fine. Sometimes it's simply more pleasurable to read what others have come up with.

Monica said...

Thank you for stopping by. I have to tell you, my favorite is the femme fetal...maybe that explains so much...LOL.

Have a great day!

tkkerouac said...

Menage a toi, hmm I thought it mean't something good.

Fede said...

let's see:

Carpe diem: daily fresh fish
Carp is a fish in English, carpa in the Italian translation. In Italy we would mangle the latin as follows: "Trote Diem" (trota=trout)

Urbi et Orbi: for all, blind included
(as orbi is the Italian plural for orbo which means one-eyed).

Sorry, I didn't get the ciao-ciao one. To me it just like if I said: bye-bye
Any inside joke that the immigration department forgot to mention...?
Recently I have been told that the sound of the word "ciao" is similar to the sound of chow which is English for food, victuals and it is widely used by Marines...

Magna cum Laude= eat with great pleasure (from magnare which is a dialect form for the verb mangiare which is the current Italian for: to eat)

I agree, the Fool made a great job.

pandave said...

okay... i am going to have to think about this one...

but thanks for dropping by. i am enjoying your blog.

Carla said...

Monica, it speaks volumes...I also quite liked that one, so I guess we're in the same boat.

TKK, I think you are thinking of the phrase that ends with "trois." Hmm...quite a different meaning.

Carla said...

Fede, Now I know who to call if I need someone to manipulate foreign phrases for me ;-) Yes, indeed, chow sounds exactly the same as ciao. Thanks for playing along.

Carla said...

Pandave, I will be waiting for your responses. It's true, this one takes a bit of thinking. Thanks for dropping by.

Beccy said...

Lol at femme fetal.

It's all way to clever for me to come up with something!

Anonymous said...

Bonsoir, Carla.

Je pense, donc j'essuie.


Carrie said...

A haha.. those are fantastic.

Carla said...

Beccy, That one was one of my favorites as well...very clever, indeed.

Winters, I take it you're talking about the menage (exuse lack of accent over the e). You'll make some woman very happy.

Carla said...

Carrie, glad you enjoyed.

JBelle said...

I ***love*** Canadian newspapers, especially the Globe and Mail.

Carla said...

JBelle, Globe & Mail is one of my favorites as well. I love the history section on the back page as well as "Lives Lived."