French Language Blog

Kitchen Confidential in French! Posted by on Oct 22, 2010 in Culture, Vocabulary

Ce week-end, j’ai fait (I did) l’un des mes passe-temps (pastimes) préférés : je suis allée à Ikea ! Ikea (pronounced EEE-kay-ah en français), land of Swedish meatballs and starter furniture ! Bien sur, I really go there for the ferry ride (il y a un ferry de Manhattan à Brooklyn). But every time, I find something I need… and this week, I found a blog post!

Voulez-vous étudier ce qu’il faut pour meubler un nouveau appart’? Would you like to study what one needs to furnish a new apartment ?

“Excusez-moi, vous avez laissé tomber quelquechose,” said the man behind me at Ikea. (He said it in English, but stay tuned!) I turned to see what I’d dropped (laisser tomber = to let fall, literally, or to drop)—was it les bougies(the candles), le fouet(the whisk), maybe le panier à linge(laundry basket)? Non non non, mes amis. It was a present from the French gods: somebody’s shopping list, en français!


La feuille de papier (the sheet of paper) contained just the list you’d write, if you’d just moved to New York and needed to furnish your nouveau appartement. Lisons ensemble (let’s read together) :

1 table pliante (A folding table)

2 chaises pliantes (2 folding chairs)

1 matelas/ oreillers + draps (1 mattress/ pillows + sheets

1 casserole/ 2 casseroles (1 casserole dish/ 2 casserole dishes—maybe they couldn’t decide ?)

1 poêle (1 skillet or frying-pan)

1 égouttoir (1 draining rack)

2/3 tuperware (sic) (Tupperware !)

Assiettes/ verres/ couverts (Plates/ glasses/ utensils)

Essuie tout (Paper towels. Ikea doesn’t sell these, dude.)

PQ ? (Quelqu’un ? Can anyone explain this one ?)

Ampoules économiques (Energy-efficient lightbulbs ! Yes !)

1 rideau de douche (Shower curtain)

Entretien Belei…  (Aucune idée !)

…Lave-vaisselle (Dish-washer…)

Couvercle pour… (Cover for)*

2 mugs

Bols (Bowls)

Quelques dessins des lapins diaboliques (Oh sorry, that’s not a kitchen item, but they were definitely on the list)

J’ai mis en grand les articles que je trouve les plus importants (the items I find most important). When you get to someone’s house late at night is not the time to forget the word for sheets (les draps). What are the other essential words for un nouveau appart’ ou une nouvelle maison? Moi, je dirais «un  lit »…


*Quelqu’un très, très sympa m’a expliquée ça. Un couvercle is a top, like for a jar (un pot). Un bouchonis a cork, like for a bottle (une bouteille). Les bouteilles de vin ont des bouchons ; les pots de confiture (jars of jam) ont des couvercles. Merci Laurie!

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  1. Anna:

    PQ is toilet paper (apparently comes from the term “papier cul” which I didn’t know)

  2. Elisabeth:

    PQ = toilet paper ^^

  3. Elisabeth:

    BTW, we say “nouvel appart'” ^^

  4. Jennie:

    PQ is short for papier cul, a slightly vulgar way of saying papier toilette or toilet paper.

    Une casserole is more commonly a saucepan instead of a casserole dish, which is un plat à gratin or un plat à four.

  5. Miss-Apple:

    ‎”PQ” is the colloquial word for “toilet paper” (papier toilette). It stands for “papier-cul”, P. for paper, and Q for the second word, same pronounciation.

  6. Miss-Apple:

    Oh and just a little correction : “nouvel appart”, the second word starts with a vowel, so you gotta link both when you pronounce the sentence. “nouveau” turns into “nouvel” (still masculine, only one “L”)

  7. Claire:

    PQ: Papier toilettes… the roll you use when you… er… go to the WC ^^

  8. Claire:

    “Entretien Belei”
    Je pense qu’ils voulaient dire “entretien balais”, non? Meaning “cleaning broom”

  9. Leslie:

    PQ I think is papier cul, or TP, probably also not to be found at Ikea

  10. Literie:

    Le style d’écrit toujours agréable, des infos constamment au top, c’est ça que j’aime sur ce blog!