Edible Idiom: Couper la poire en dux

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A lover of words, etymology, and linguistics, the enterprising Clotilde Dusoulier, a Parisian and author of the marvelous Chocolate and Zucchini, had the ingenious idea a short while back to acquaint those of us not versed in French on the grammatically rich culinary-inspired idioms that the Romance languages are noted for.

Take “Couper la poire en deux” for instance.

It means, literally, “cutting the pear in two,” or reaching a compromise: if two people want the same pear, halving it is the most equitable way to settle the dispute.

Example: “Nos deux familles voulaient nous avoir à Noël, donc on a coupé la poire en deux : on va chez ses parents le 24, et chez les miens le 25.”

Translation: “Both our families wanted us to come over for Christmas, so we cut the pear in two: we’ll spend Christmas Eve at his parents’, and Christmas Day at mine.”

A civilized resolution, no?

 

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~ by eaesthete on 12/26/08.

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