Tu peux me dépanner?

Tu peux me dépanner?

tew puhm day-paa-NAY? Click below to hear this.

Can you help me out?

You are asking for a specific kind of help: you’re in trouble, and you need someone to pull you out.

Une panne has an improbable number of meanings, from the layer of fat under a pig’s skin to a luxury fabric similar to velvet, from the crosspiece on a stick or rod to the handle end of a hammer.

But the relevant meaning here, I suspect, derives from that crosspiece idea. When you arrange the sails in your sailboat crosswise, you stop the boat. And when a person is accidentally stopped in his or her course by some obstacle, that person is en panne. Stuck might be a good way to think of it.

In a car, you might be out of gas, or have a flat tire. In planning weekend entertainment, you might be out of money (en panne d’argent). The point is, you’re not going anywhere until you get over this hump.

So you ask your friend: Tu peux me dépanner? which literally means something like Can you unstick me?

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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