Elle boude sa pâtée.

Elle boude sa pâtée.

ell bood sah pah-TAY. Click below to hear this.*

She is snubbing her food.

We are talking about the dog, of course. How can we tell? Because people eat le pâté (check the appetizer menu of any French restaurant), and dogs (and cats) eat la pâtée. Both are basically mushed-up meat, but the one is so much more appetizing than the other.

Which may explain why our pets sometimes turn up their nose at their feeding dish. Our dog doesn’t like it when the kibble is down near the bottom of the bag. Fresh is better, apparently. We are supposed to bury a treat–a little tuna, some carrot pieces, a spoonful of rice–under those boring kibble bits. We are not always as compliant as she would like.

Bouder means to sulk, to snub, to avoid. It’s not the I’m-better-than-you kind of snubbing. It’s more the I’m-not-in-the-mood-so-leave-me-alone kind of snubbing. You can bouder people (all of them, or specific ones), or the theater, or social life in general, crowds, le pâté, or Christmas trees.

Whatever it is, the implication is that you used to enjoy it but just now, you don’t. You may have a moral objection (le pâté is made of meat from animals treated inhumanely, perhaps?), a physical one (you have developed an allergy to evergreen tree sap), a social one (you’re angry with her, but you’ll get over it).

And what better place to go to bouder than to your boudoir? We tend to associate this elegant little room with spicy sexual activities that don’t belong on a G-rated blog, but in reality it’s just a place where ladies go to sulk. Pity we don’t maintain the custom. We could spare the general public our bad moods and antisocial behavior when we are feeling grumpy.

*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:

elle_boude_sa_patee.mp3

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