Le grand air creuse.
luh grah tair KRUHZ. Click below to hear this.*
The outdoors will make you hungry!
Or open air, or country air, or fresh air. It makes no difference what we call it. The fact is, spending a day in the great out-of-doors does make a person hungry, whether you’ve been plowing the fertile earth or flying kites. In French, it’s called le grand air, big air, which seems fitting to me because the sky feels so vast and wide-open.
As for the hungry part, hunger never gets mentioned in the French expression. Fresh air digs, that is, it hollows out a space in your middle. I’ll bet you can feel how right this expression is just by hearing it, especially if you are reading this around mealtime. And watch the pronunciation: creuse does not rhyme with cruise. Listen to the sound file to get it right.
Which reminds me… I have to go get ready to go out. It’s just about dinner time.
Oh! Before I head out the door: Don’t forget that linking the final d of grand turns the sound from silent (grand by itself is /grah/, with a nasal /ah/ but no final consonant) to a /t/ sound. Okay, wish me bon appétit! It’s the polite thing to say when you know someone is heading off to eat.
*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: