Monday, January 9, 2012

Woteva, Woteverrr, Whatever

W is for Woteva

Big Cheese and the French Fries learned a new word while on holiday recently: woteva.

<-----  They also learned the hand gesture that accompanies this word.

"Woteva" was the word du jour and quite overused during our winter vacation in the sun.

For example...

Big Cheese: Chérie, did you know the French won the men's swimming championship last summer?

La Mom: The French finally won a medal in a manly sport.

Big Cheese: What do you mean? We win the handball championships every year.

La Mom: Wot-ev-a. American girls fantasize about dating basketball stars and English girls fantasize about dating soccer stars. Have you met one French girl who fantasizes about dating a handball player?

Big Cheese: Wot-ev-errrr
(Sidebar: How cute! Big Cheese changed "Woteva" to "Wot-ev-errr" and rolled his "r" like only the French can do.)


La Mom: We're off to the pool, French Fries.

Big Fry: Hey look, there's a crocodile floating in the pool.

Small Fry: C'est bizarre, I thought all of the crocodiles were at Vuitton?

(La Mom & Big Cheese laugh)

Big Fry: Wot-ev-a.


So I guess it was no surprise when Small Fry's French maitresse pulled La Mom aside one week into the new year for a très serious discussion.

Maîtresse: Small Fry is having problems following directions. I told the class it was time to put their paint supplies away and she wouldn't do it. Then she wouldn't sit down to sing. She keeps repeating "wooduhvah". Could this be a word en anglais?

La Mom: Baaa, baaa, non. It doesn't sound like it. I'm not sure what she's saying.

Maîtresse: But there's something more important you need to know. Small Fry is, comment dire, she's having great difficulty holding her pencil properly since school started last week.

La Mom: She seems to be holding it right when she colors at home.

Maîtresse: Non, if she doesn't start holding her pencil properly again, she'll be foutu forever.

(Sidebar: Why are the French so concerned that holding a pencil incorrectly will mess up one's life for-ev-a? I've heard this pencil holding crotte before with Big Fry. Is it really that serious?)

La Mom: Baaa, you mean, she may not advance to kindergarten or university one day because she never learned how to hold her pencil properly?

Maîtresse: Oui, c'est un peu comme ça. I wouldn't say it exactly that way, but she must learn how to hold her pencil correctly maintenant. Her academic future is at stake.

La Mom: Wot-ev-a.


Anne said...

It's not just France (although you write so cleverly about it). My dad's kindergarten teacher told my grandmother that my dad would become a juvenile delinquent because he threw a block at another kid. The kindergarten teacher was not around when my dad became a full professor at a top medical school and president of his specialty's professional society. Whatever.

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

Anne - You're right, it's not just France, I'm sure. This is all I know, though. Glad to hear your father made your grandmother proud!

Beadboard UpCountry said...

OMG.The slang variations of whatever and the multitude of inflections that can put the appropriate spin on it......It is a cool word to use mais et'il possible not dans L'ecole?????
A few whatevers and all of a sudden the pencil holding skills go south????? Not buying it.Maryanne xo

Adventures of Shaw said...

It's not just France. My Canadian husband cannot stand it when our daughter holds her fork, pencil anything wrong. He acts like it is uncivilized. Acts like she won't get into University!! Too funny.

Kat said...

I am guilty of insisting my kids eat properly. Fork in left hand, knife in right. No switches. Can't have them becoming delinquents! But le crayon - woteva.

Sweet Freak said...

I just love the idea of "whatever" with a French accent. Throw in the hand gesture—priceless!

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

@Maryanne- You are right, "whatever" is not acceptable du tout à l'école! As for the pencil holding skills, I chalk it up to being a French thing. This has happened to several of my friends, too.

@Shaw-Did you husband grow up in France by chance? French relatives? Is he Québécois? Maybe that explains it?

@Kat - I'm with you, moi aussi. Woteverrrrr!

@Sweet Freak - Thanks for stopping by! The French accent does add a certain element to the saying!

Rosabell said...

Actually, when I was a teenager ,I was guilty of wanting,like desperate, to date a handball star player from the national team ... I don't think I have ever missed a handball international match in Bucharest. Most of the handball players look awesome! But I guess my appreciation towards handball comes from the fact that my family is mixed, romanian and french, and my father has introduced me to handball from an early age. :)

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

Rosabell- You are the ONLY person I've ever met who has wanted to date a handball player. Raising my champagne glass to you in a toast!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! As an American kid in a French school who was always humiliated by my poor pen holding I am proud to say that I graduated from Grad school just fine thanks! Love your kids attitude! whatevah!!!


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