Vous êtes ici

The language of Geneva

The language of Geneva

We know that Geneva is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. We are used to promoting cultural diversity under all its form, but this time we decided to come back to fundamentals. How wo uld you like a little lesson of our local language? We have rummaged about (farfouiller in French, trifouiller in Genevan) in some of our own expressions!


With the weather we are getting these days, instead of saying it’s going to rain you should say « il va y avoir du bouillon » (there will be broth). And given the temperatures, don’t forget to take your « broustou » (coat) to go out.


Do you have a friend that always complains for no reason? Forget the usual words you would use to describe him, that person is a « marmotteur »! Since he probably won’t even understand the criticism, you won’t even need to apologize!


The mop (serpillère) you said? No, as a true Genevan, you will say « panosse », your floor will only be cleaner!


It’s seasonal and delicious! « Les Merveilles » (the marvels – Mardi Gras fried pastries) are part of Geneva’s vocabulary and that’s a great reason to have a « bocon » (a little piece) around a large « tablée » this « tantôt » (a table with friends this afternoon).


When the temparature will be high again, you won’t have « greulettes » (shivers) anymore, but don’t become too « molache » (person with no energy) when it will be too hot!





Audrey R. - Journaliste pour Color my Geneva, tous droits réservés  



Source : Dumont E-L, 1983, Le dialecte genevois, Editions du Journal de Genève.

Crédits photo : http://airshoot.ch/les-mini-drones/pour-voler/pour-voler-a-geneve /