A Montreal TikToker left Parisians scratching their heads after dropping a popular Quebec expression on the streets of the city of lights and love. The results? Pure confusion and some genuinely baffled reactions.
While the French tend to keep things more formal, Quebecers like to pepper their sentences with Quebec expressions that would raise some eyebrows among those who aren’t from Quebec. Heck, it raises eyebrows among many of us who are from Quebec.
So, when Montreal content creator Aly Brassard put one Quebecism to the test during her travels to Paris last month, it’s no surprise that her linguistic victims were completely confused.
“Avoir de l’eau dans la cave,” which literally translates to a “flooded basement,” essentially means that your pants are too short, mainly because you would be inclined to lift your pants up in the event of a flood so that they don’t get wet. The Quebec expression is often reserved to make fun of someone with a short hem or in this case, tease French folks for a few laughs.
La dernière elle m’aime je crois? 😂 #quebecvsfrance #expressionquebecoise #france #paris #microtrottoir #pourtoii
In her first attempt, Brassard approached two Parisians and immediately asked them…”J’ai tu de l’eau dans la cave avec mes pantalons?” (Do I have a flooded basement when it comes to my pants?)
“I don’t know what you are saying,” the first person replied.
After repeating the same expression over again, the other person guessed if she was saying something about her shoes. “In the basement? Oh, in your shoes?” he said. Brassard explained what it was finally and the Parisians made it clear that they don’t say that in France.
While her first attempt garnered a few weird looks, Brassard’s second go left one young Parisian in utter disbelief.
“J’ai tu de l’eau dans la cave avec mes pantalons?” she asked.
“You have what?” he replied with a look of total perplexity.
Brassard repeated the same question and this time it was met with an apology. “I am sorry but I don’t know what you are saying,” they said.
The TikToker gave it one final go, gesturing to the bottoms of her pants this time, which didn’t help one single bit.
“I…I am so sorry. I don’t really understand your words,” he said again. Brassard finally let the person in on the expression — explaining that she is essentially asking them if her pants are too short.
In Brassard’s third and final attempt, she was met with nothing but a laugh and someone telling her she is “excellent.”
“What does that mean?” Brassard asked. “It just means that you are very funny,” the Parisian said. Brassard then returned the compliment, telling the French person that they have nice glasses.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.