May – Mots Du Jour

May – Mots du Jour

le premier mai – May Day or French Labor Day – Mot du Jour

le premier mai – the first May. le premier mai is also called ‘la fête du travail’ which means ‘work holiday’, or ‘labor day’. le premier mai is ‘May Day’ or ‘French Labor Day’. It is celebrated on May 1 every year. French workers and Unions march in the streets of all major cities after they bought a twig of lily of the valley.

  • « Le premier mai, c’est la fête du travail. On achète un brin de muguet, on va au défilé des syndicats, et ensuite, on passe la journée avec les potes. »
    • “ May Day is Labor Day. We buy a lily of the valley, we march with the unions, and then we spend the day with our friends .”

faire le pont – to take a long weekend – Mot du Jour

faire le pont – to make the bridge. faire le pont means ‘to take a long weekend’ in everyday French. When a national holiday falls on a Thursday or a Tuesday, it is not unusual for French workers to also take the Friday or the Monday off, making it a 4-day weekend. Faire le pont could easily be called the merry-month-of-May expression, as French people often take advantage of  3 – sometimes even 4 – long weekends to get away that month. Sometimes, it feels there are more (paid) holidays than work days in May in France.

  • « Je vais pouvoir aller visiter le château de Chambord et son nouveau jardin à la fin de la semaine car je fais le pont. »
    • “I’ll be able to visit the Chambord castle and its new garden at the end of the week because I’m taking a long weekend.”


payer au lance-pierres – to pay peanuts – Mot du Jour

payer au lance-pierres – to pay at the slingshot. payer au lance-pierres means ‘to underpay’, ‘to pay peanuts’ in everyday French.

  • « On défile le jour du premier mai car on est vraiment payés au lance-pierres. Il faut que ça change. »
    • “ We’re marching on Labor Day because we are paid peanuts. This situation has to change.”

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