Monday, January 5, 2009

The cute connection

The double-A battery has a special name in France: mignon. I think it's really cute that they have a nickname for a battery type. I'm trying to think if we do something so charming in English. I can't think of much (Bring me that lil' batt'ry, you big git!), but maybe I am just blind to the cuteness of my own language. I do wish we had a more flexible diminutive ending in our language, like Spanish does. Pilita (or would it be pilacita?) sounds pretty cute. Even German, when it's not saying things like "small-stored-energy-capsule," has a nice diminutive ending which can be put, at least by old ladies, on practically anything.


Anyway, because, up to the point of learning this, mignon suggested to me something along the lines of "hunk of meat," I decided to research this mysterious battery-meat connection. I was pleased to find mignon to mean "cute, sweet, nice, kind." Or, in the context of meat, apparently, "dainty." A relative term, obviously, since beef is one of the less dainty foods I can think of at the moment. To confuse the issue further, in France filet mignon usually refers to pork. Filet of beef is called tournedos.

So now you know all about mignon and can impress people next time you're out ordering meat at some tony steakhouse, or asking your French friend for a battery. Just remember to pronounce it correctly or you'll lose all your credibility. 

2 comments:

JulieAnn and the Captain said...

No joke, today I interviewed at a temp agency (not recommended) and the lady interviewing me's first name was Mignon. Let me just say though that neither cute nor dainty could describe her...

Swiss Ms. said...

Did you tell her everything you knew about her name? Maybe that would be a good way to get your foot in the door? Or would bringing up cute and dainty just be awkward?

Good luck finding a position. You've had a lot of big transitions lately... I hope you get a break soon!