Elle a fait la culbute dans l’escalier.
ay lah fay lah kewl-bewt dah lay-skah-leeYAY. Click below to hear this.*
She went head over heels in the stairway.
Which could have had terrible consequences! Fortunately for her, I am writing fiction here, except when I am talking about the French. I am not making that part up.
So today’s post is a real kickass story. That’s because une culbute comes from buter, to kick, and cul, buttocks. When she falls head over heels, in effect, she kicks her own derrière, or so it appears as she tumbles.
If she goes head over heels on purpose, that’s another story. Then you say Elle a fait une galipette. In English, that’s turn a somersault or do a forward roll. Ask a gymnastics coach to explain the difference to you. I forget.
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: