Tu as déjà sifflé toute la bouteille?

Tu as déjà sifflé toute la bouteille?

tew ah day-zhah see-flay toot lah boo-TAY-yuh? Click below to hear this.*

You already gulped down the whole bottle?

Oh, my. That’s way too much to drink! Especially if Boyfriend didn’t even get to taste it. But Girlfriend is in a mood, and on this night she has flung caution to the winds.

This is one of the numerous delightful expressions from Les Stances à Sophie, the novel I am currently reading. What I like about this one (expression, that is, not the novel) is the word for gulping.

One way many of us would say this in colloquial English is You inhaled it! As we all know, inhaling involves breathing in. The French says, literally, You whistled it! Which (as we also all know) involves breathing out. In neither case are we actually swallowing, which is what you are supposed to do when you drink or eat.

Anyway, I hope you don’t have to say this too often to your dinner partner, and I hope even more fervently that your dinner partner doesn’t have to say it to you. Try to save siffler for the times when you need a little tune in your life.

*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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