C’était entre chien et loup.
say-tay ah-truh sheeAA ay LOO. Click below to hear this.
It was twilight.
Uh-oh, were you witness to a twilight crime? Are they asking you what you saw? Here’s your answer:
Je n’ai rien vu. C’était entre chien et loup. Literally, I didn’t see anything. It was between dog and wolf.
What’s that supposed to mean? That it’s too dark to distinguish which animal it was? Or does it mean the time after the owners call their dogs into the house for the night, and the wolves come out to play (or hunt, or howl)?
Since we don’t share living space with wolves here on the prairie (we Chicagoland denizens like to pretend it’s still prairie), I wouldn’t know. We do have coyotes, and it’s not easy to tell the difference sometimes, even in broad daylight.
And maybe that’s the point. Canines are nocturnal creatures, and it’s hard to tell what you’re seeing at twilight. Anyway, it’s a lot more fun to say entre chien et loup than the “official” word for twilight, which is le crépuscule (luh kray-pew-SKEWL). Easier to spell, too!