French Language Blog

French Word of the Day – Péniche Posted by on Jun 1, 2009 in Vocabulary

Some of you may have noticed the Word of the Day to the right of the blog articles.  It is a helpful way to learn vocabulary little by little in context.  You can even hear the word pronounced by a native speaker or see other forms of the word like the difference between the plural and singular and the definite and indefinite articles that go with the word.  Well, today’s word is péniche.  It just so happens that this word has a little ‘x’ by it in my Robert Micro dictionary that I bought when I was a student in Paris.  I marked all the entries in the dictionary that I looked up during my year in Paris…I’m not sure why really, but it was fun and it also made me realize if I continued to look up the same words or not (If I continued to look them up, then I obviously wasn’t learning them…which meant more studying was needed).  So, I thought I would discuss this word a bit today.

First of all, what does it mean and what is the context?
If you click on the link above, you can see that it means ‘houseboat’ and you can also see that it’s a feminine noun.  My dictionary gives some synonyms: une barge (which is apparently a bit bigger than a péniche) and une chaland.

When you go to Paris, you will see many péniches floating along the Seine River.  You can even have a romantic dinner at night on one as there are several for rental or used for commercial purposes.  Buying one can cost you anywhere from less than €100,000 to more than €550,000 ($707,500).  

Here’s an ad for a péniche that is up for sale.  It is completely furnished and features an entryway (une entrée), a fully-equipped kitchen (une cuisine équipée), a living room (un séjour), 2 bedrooms (chambres), a shower room (salle d’eau) and a toilet room (un WC) as well as an office (un bureau) and dressing room (un dressing).  It also has a sailor’s quarters and two decks.
For those of you who may not be looking to buy one, just stay on a péniche the next time you’re in Paris.

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  1. heidenkind:

    Very cool. I never encountered this word while I was France, but I wouldn’t mind living on a peniche if I went back. 🙂

  2. Chanda:

    Salut Heidenkind!

    Even if you don’t live on one, there are many péniche-hôtels that you can stay on while touring France. Here is a link to the Association des Armateurs de Péniches-Hôtels (The Hotel-Barge Association) with more information.

  3. Jenny:

    Your blog is wonderful thank you 🙂

    When i was looking for good hotels when i went to Paris, my friend recommended to me this great website to get amazing deals on hotels. It was:

    I hope it helps you to.


  4. hotels pairs:

    I love the word of the day idea great way to learn french

  5. Catharine Hidde:

    All right, what a nice beginning but i’ll have to consider that a great deal more. Will show you what more there is.