5 Household French terms that sound horrible in English

All products in Canada must be labeled in English and French. Even though I understand French, I’m an anglophone, and sometimes words and phrases still jump out at me that just sound either horrible or hilarious when read it out in plain English. Here are some items around my apartment, and what they might mean if they were taken literally in English:


‘Creme de douche’ (shower cream)

It’s the cream of the crop–but douches. Creme de douche is often found at whichever local bar looks slightly more upscale than your generic dive, but prices are still low enough to appease the cheapskates.

‘Fromage rape’ (grated cheese)

The non-consensual eating of cheese.

‘$8 de rabais’ ($8 off)

You thought you had enough of rabies when you contracted it for free from that raccoon bite. Well, next time it won’t be free–but you can now get $8 worth of rabies! Use this handy coupon the next time you feel like you’re getting ripped off by the cost of your rabies.

Eau de toilette (light perfume)

A lovely fellow writer reminded me about this one. I’m so used to seeing this everywhere that I forget that it’s toilet water I’m delicately applying to my supple body.

Phoque (seal)

Also contributed by aforementioned fellow writer. You may not have a phoque around the house, but it’s still a word that used to be hilarious when I was in French immersion in grade school:

“Hey…anybody wanna phoque?”

“No thanks, I prefer sea lions.”


So? Any other Canadians relate to this? Let me know in the comments if you have any to add!

(P.S. Sorry for the delay in this post, guys. Open bar this weekend. That is all.)