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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 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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