May 3, 2018

"Macron calls Australian leader’s wife ‘delicious’ — and demonstrates the perils of diplomacy in a foreign language."

A WaPo headline.
Macron — who is proficient in English but occasionally struggles to find his words — was probably the victim of what the French call a “faux ami,” which refers to a word that looks and sounds similar in French and English (or another language) but differs significantly in meaning.

Yes, the term “délicieuse” can and often does mean “delicious,” and it can carry a sexual connotation. But it can also have a more mundane meaning, especially in this context. It can mean “lovely,” “delightful” or “charming” when used to describe a person. It doesn’t have to connote something physical, although it’s perhaps rare for someone as young as Macron to use the term in its somewhat antiquated sense.
And yet the word "delicious" in English also has those other meanings. The oldest meaning — in my dictionary, the OED — is "Highly pleasing or delightful; affording great pleasure or enjoyment" or "Intensely amusing or entertaining." The second meaning is "Highly pleasing or enjoyable to the bodily senses, esp. to the taste or smell; affording exquisite sensuous or bodily pleasure." It is etymologically related to "delicate" and "delightful."

ADDED: Years ago, as I remember, it was common among older American women to call a person "delicious." It also used to be considered lovely for an old lady to say to a child, "Oh, I could eat you up!" "Delicious" was also used to refer to clever pranks and ripostes that gave some disapproved of person what he deserved. In recounting the story, one might say "It was delicious!"

AND: The only reason this is coming up as a controversy — when it is absolutely nothing — is because Macron hobnobs with Trump. If Macron had just been swanning about with Obama, his remark about the Australian lady would have been understood to mean "delightful" and digested with ease.

I'm therefore giving this post my Trump derangement syndrome tag.

42 comments:

rhhardin said...

Macron failed to use the just word.

Derek Kite said...

MFGA!

Make France great again. Travel the world and speak of delicious women!

Don't tie yourself in knots. That is exactly what he meant.

What would be great fun is if he bonked her and there was a duel.

Darrell said...

In other words, this is another non-story.

Darrell said...

Macron was too nice to Trump, so he must pay a price.

veni vidi vici said...

I'm okay with it (and yeah, it was obvious he meant "delightful"; the media is actually becoming too stupid to pay attention to anymore), as long as he didn't use the cloying colloquialism "Delish!"

That might've been cause to scramble some fighter jets to take out his motorcade.

veni vidi vici said...

"What would be great fun is if he bonked her and there was a duel."

It's my understanding they've outlawed cockfighting in Australia.

richlb said...

A quick Google Image Search would show that he obviously meant "delightful".

Bob Boyd said...

Macron might have meant she was charming.
Or he might have meant, "I'd eat that like a bacon cheeseburger."
There's just no way to tell.
It's a compliment either way.

mockturtle said...

Bad enough that the WaPoo gave import to this non-issue.

John Tuffnell said...

The Pepe le Pew meme will be fun for a day, until we are reminded that his overt pursuit is toxic and That's Not Funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1mK9En8NvE

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

He could have said that Lucy Turnbull looks like a character on The League of Gentlemen.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/10/files/2018/05/Lucy-Turnbull-342x247.jpg

Drago said...

"AND: The only reason this is coming up as a controversy — when it is absolutely nothing — is because Macron hobnobs with Trump."

Inevitable LLR Chuck response: Macrons verbal gaffe is due to Trumps horrific and other-worldly evil-ness!

We need to expand the Mueller probe immediately and get the entire White House staff under oath and before a Grand Jury to determine what bad-thoughts were in each of their minds while Macron was here in the US and then simply let the investigation take its natural course!!!! Its the only "True Conservative" thing to do!!!! And vote for Stabenow to keep up the pressure on Trump....er....I mean lets defeat Stabenow! (wink wink)....

Kevin said...

Poor Granny did not have time to say another word, before the wolf gobbled her up!

― Little Red Riding Hood

mockturtle said...

Rhhardin quips: Macron failed to use the just word.

Well done, sir!

Kevin said...

“But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go - we’ll eat you up - we love you so!”

And Max said, “No!”

The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye.”


― Where the Wild Things Are

Kevin said...

Ricky Bobby: I will not shake your hand, but I will give you this. [kisses Jean Girard]

Jean Girard: You taste of America.

Ricky Bobby: Thank you.

Kevin said...

“We go together like cocaine and waffles.” — Cal Naughton Jr.

Sebastian said...

"Macron calls Australian leader’s wife ‘delicious’"

People are jumping to conclusions. It could be a gaffe, inadvertently revealing a deep truth about the lady in question. Or it could be a deliberate pass, French-style, with plausible deniability built in.

Did they ask the PM's wife about Macron's man makeup?

mikee said...

So the actual story is the lack of contextual comprehension of the reporters.
Got it. Happens every day, all day.
What would we do without a bunch of people who know nothing trying to describe those people who actually do things.

Char Char Binks said...

This can only mean one thing -- Macron is literally a cannibal.

mockturtle said...

So the actual story is the lack of contextual comprehension of the reporters.
Got it. Happens every day, all day.
What would we do without a bunch of people who know nothing trying to describe those people who actually do things.


That, mikee, sums it up very nicely.

Earnest Prole said...

To his credit Macron resisted the urge to call her "milfalicious."

Gahrie said...

Why the fuck do we care what the leader of France said about the leader of Australia's wife?

Ken B said...

Gabriel: hence TDS tag.

rcocean said...

Hello Mr. Macaroni - she replied.

rhhardin said...

And called it macaroni. It meant high fashion, dandy, at the time.

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

"Macron" brings to mind "Mr. Dacron" and/or something to do with macros.

Char Char Binks said...
This can only mean one thing -- Macron is literally a cannibal.


1974 National Lampoon - "Joys of Wife Tasting".

tcrosse said...

"The French they are a funny race; they fight with their feet, and fuck with their face!" - attributed to Churchill.

Unknown said...

What has Macron ever done that would cause people to question his motives in this way? Especially when you consider the language difference and the various connotations of the word.

-sw

Ann Althouse said...

Macron... pronounced Ma Crone. My crone. I picture him with an old woman.

buwaya said...

Dreher has yet to say anything about the slipping of French standards.

Earnest Prole said...

I picture him with an old woman.

Delicious!

gspencer said...

To find the bon mot and to avoid the faux pas, aren't those among the very reasons for a diplomatic staff? And isn't it a standing rule never to go into anything sexual? And to keep your male eyes aimed in any direction other than at a woman's ass end, down her blouse, or at her chest generally?

Like Frank Underwood, Obama was caught on camera doing one of those.

jaydub said...

Ian Baker-Finch, the former Australian golf pro and current golf announcer, uses "tasty" to describe a difficult but made putt, like "that was a tasty putt." But, Aussies use all kinds of strange (to the rest of the English speaking world) terms for common words. I doubt the average Aussie makes a big deal out of using the word "delicious" to describe a woman; however, the Aussie press is just a effed up as our own so it would be rare for the press to let such a term go unremarked if it allowed them to make a political point. Aussies understand this characteristic of their press as do Americans of their own.

TDS for sure.

Yancey Ward said...

Macron clearly has a type! Mrs. Turnbull is quite attractive for a 60 year old woman, but that is as far as I would go just on the visual.

And, yes, this another example of TDS- this story only sees the light of day because Macron failed to dress Trump down publicly by calling him another Hitler.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

He could have said that Lucy Turnbull looks like a character on The League of Gentlemen.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/10/files/2018/05/Lucy-Turnbull-342x247.jpg


For people who need a hyperlink.

EDH said...

Maybe Macron meant exactly what he said because...

She's a Super Freak!!!

EDH said...

Ann Althouse said...
My crone. I picture him with an old woman.

My Carona?

Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind
I always get it up, for the touch of the older kind
My, my, my, aye-aye, whoa!
M-m-m-my Carona

Rick Turley said...

I've been binging on the new-to-me "Lexicon Valley" podcast with John McWhorter. Did you know that "awesome" and "awful" meant the same thing at one time? You can see this with the phrase "awfully good." Just about 6 episodes in and I will never think again that I really understand very well either Shakespeare or the King James Bible.

Can't recommended highly enough if you love language - and show tunes.

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley.html

Bad Lieutenant said...

5/3/18, 9:02 AM
Sebastian said...
"Macron calls Australian leader’s wife ‘delicious’"

Silly rabbit! (or rather, frog)

If you want to bust a nut in a Five Eyes leader's wife, Canada is the designated town pump. Just ask Fidel Castro.



And AA: I guarantee you're saying it wrong.