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velvet paws

September 2, 2009

Until recently my favourite French expression was 'nous ne sommes pas sortis de l'auberge ', meaning 'we're not quite out of the woods yet'.

But yesterday a French friend, discussing problems at work, told me she was going to 'faire pattes de velours' or proceed 'with velvet paws' with her demanding boss. In other words, take a softly softly approach. But it conjures up such a charming mental image, that I'm planning to weave it into the conversation at least once a day for the forseeable future.

comments (6)

1. Posted by Lorraine McColl on September 3, 2009 9:16 AM

Hello I found your book on the mail website and then your blog which I enjoyed reading - I too am a single female - home in France - I am over in the east north of Dijon and enjoying my restoration. Bought the house in 2004 then a roof and a bathroom ensued I am looking forward to looking through some very expensive artisan built windows in the next few months ! Good luck with your book sales and your life in France - I am still looking forward to meeting my Luis - but with an allergy to dog hair - I must hope for some divine intervention as opposed to canine ! best wishes Lorraine

2. Posted by Ann de Bretange on September 3, 2009 2:22 PM

What a fabulous phrase, it does, as you say, conjure up a delightful image, I picture 'a gorgeous soft, adorable and velvety grey kitten making her first explorations in the outside world!! I will definetly practice this phrase myself and 'slot it in' when the occassion arises.

3. Posted by Simon Gard on September 4, 2009 12:25 PM

I have loads of those types of expressions...here are a couple that I like: 'Peigner la girafe' - which means to do something useless (lit: to comb the giraffe) or 'Donner sa langue au chat' - to give up a riddle (lit: to give up one's tongue to the cat!) Simon

4. Posted by nikki nairn on September 4, 2009 1:31 PM

Love the phrase ! will be using it myself ! keep the phrases coming people they all sound so much more romantic in french !! lol

5. Posted by aconfusedtakethatfan on September 6, 2009 12:11 AM

Brilliant! I will have to 'faire pattes de velours' when trying to persuade my husband to move house/buy me new shoes/take me to New York/let me have a lie in etc etc...

6. Posted by Mary dw on September 11, 2009 7:11 AM

As I am seriously contemplating my own move to France, I shall indeed tread with velvet paws....oh what a lovely phrase :-)

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