C’est la pagaille par ici!
say lah pah-GUY-yuh paa ree-SEE. Click below to hear the sound file.
It’s total chaos around here!
Or a mess, or a pigsty, or any of the other uncomplimentary synonyms you can think of.
Ici means here, as you may already know; but when you say par ici, the meaning changes to around here. In other words, the expression becomes less specific as to location. It may refer to a desktop, but will more likely take in a whole room, or a storage closet, a work area or even a messy construction site. Whatever you can indicate with a contemptuous sweep of your arm!
Notice that the audio file changes the accentuation of the syllables a little bit: LAH PAH-GUY-yuh instead of lah pah-GUY-yuh. As written, it’s a straightforward statement. In the recording, placing the accented syllables earlier in the sentence and in the key word pagaille adds emphasis to the word, and more feeling to the statement–a feeling of disgust at the degree of chaos.
If you have been reading these blog posts, you will recognize the pronunciation rule that governs the French word pagaille. That’s right, it’s the “yuck rule”! If you missed it, you can find it in this post: Les USA ont gagné…
You can also say: Il a mis la pagaille dans l’affaire. ee lah mee lah pah-GUY-yuh dah laa-FAIR.
He made a mess of that business.
Don’t make them say it about you!