Et tout le bataclan.

Et tout le bataclan.

ay tool bah-tah-KLAH. Click below to hear this.*

And all the rest.

This is much more fun to say than et cetera. And it makes just as much sense as the whole ball of wax or the whole nine yards. In French, you could say Et tout le reste or et caetera (pronounce it /ett say-tay-RAH/), but where’s the fun?

Bataclan exists pretty much exclusively as part of this expression. It doesn’t really mean anything. It’s thought to be onomatopoeic–a word invented to sound like what it names. Since the word has existed since the mid-1700s, what is conjures for me is the clank and clatter of an old-time tinker, with his pots and pans slung over his shoulder or rattling about on his wagon.

So: you’re putting up a Christmas tree? Oui, et tout le bataclan. (All of the other decorations too.) Your kids are coming for Thanksgiving? Oui, et tout le bataclan. (And all the other relatives too. Full house.) Your mom is having a birthday cake for your one-year-old? Oui, et tout le bataclan. (Your mom needs some sense knocked into her head. Seriously? A party for 30 toddlers?)

See how much fun that is? Your turn. Let’s hear your “situations”! When are you itching to say this?

*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:


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