View Full Version : Zut Zut et Zut
01-11-2001, 04:46 PM
What does the french word 'Zut' mean. Thevarious french dictionaries i've read said it was damn or hell. But I've heard that it really is closer to darn or crud.
01-11-2001, 05:29 PM
It means both hell and shit and, as you know, depending on the context, you could easily substitute shit for hell, and vice versa.
01-11-2001, 05:34 PM
Zut is in no way as bad a word as shit or hell. When I first started taking French back in what must have been fifth or sixth grade, 'zut' was one of the first words we ever learned. I must have had five or six french teachers since then and now, and none of them have ever had a problem with the word 'zut'. they all, and i mean _all_, said it themselves. Therefore, I'm going to go so far as to say that the word is in fact closer to "shoot" or "darn", as opposed to shit (Merde) or hell (Enfer).
01-11-2001, 05:46 PM
My french teacher thought it was closer to damn or hell but she changed her mind when it appeared in our text book with a little girl commenting on the weather, "Zut Zut et Zut!" ^_^
01-11-2001, 05:58 PM
Quand j'ai fait des recherche a:
zut interj. et n. m.
Fam. Exclamation exprimant le mécontentement, l'impatience. || n. m. Un zut retentissant.
So, expressing dissatisfaction or impatience.
Looking for origins.
01-11-2001, 06:09 PM
J'ai trouver aussi ceci.
Exclamation qui est une formule de refus ou de congé.
FAM. Exprime le dépit, le mépris, le refus.
01-11-2001, 06:30 PM
Still looking. This piques my curiosity. Haven't found any encyclopedias that give history.
Here's a page that covers it's use as an interjection.
This page which unfortunately takes very long to load has a short pdf, which is a low res scan. I transcribe it here:
De l'origine du mot zut. Marchant sur les traces d'un vieux chercheur, et m'occupant, comme mon ancien, de certains mots a la mode, je voudrais demander quel est le premier de nos ecrivains qui s'est servi du mot si pittoresque reccenment introduit dans la langage...administratif. Quelqu'un m'assure que zut se trouve pour la premiere fois dans un des livres du fu<?hard to read this smudged gothic print> academicien, M. Zola, mais d'autres pretendent que le celebre romancier a eu un precurseur dans l'autour de je ne sais plus quelle chanson qui courait les sous le second empire.
So, Napoleonic times.
This page claims usage all the way back to the 13th century...
01-11-2001, 06:33 PM
Zooty zoot zoot!
01-11-2001, 06:43 PM
Tabernouche! Calisse! Calin des binnes!
01-11-2001, 07:40 PM
Yeah. I meant 'shit' and 'hell', but in a nice way:D. As was noted above, 'zut' is a (much) more attenuated form of those two words, more often than not denoting frustration.
Kyberneticist, please allow me to amend your quote a bit for comprehension's sake (I'll skip the accents and small typos):
De l'origine du mot zut. Marchant sur les traces d'un vieux chercheur, et m'occupant, comme mon ancien, de certains mots a la mode, je voudrais demander quel est le premier de nos ecrivains qui s'est servi du mot si pittoresque recemment introduit dans le langage...administratif. Quelqu'un m'assure que zut se trouve pour la premiere fois dans un des livres du futur academicien, M. Zola, mais d'autres pretendent que le celebre romancier a eu un precurseur dans l'auteur de je ne sais plus quelle chanson qui courait les rues sous le second empire.
Câlisse, a deformation of a religious term ('chalice' in English and 'calice' in French), is considered a swear word in French and is used strictly in Quebec. Much tamer, on the other hand, are Tabernouche (deformation of 'Tabernacle', in English and French) and Câline de binnes; in this last case, the origin is unknown, at least to me: the first term is no doubt an attenuation of 'Câlisse'; as for the reason for the juxtaposition of beans (once a Quebec 'staple'), it's anyone's guess - perhaps simply a question of alliteration. BTW, their use is less frequent than it once was.
01-11-2001, 07:51 PM
In terms of the literal meaning, "Darn" would be closest. In terms of its force, I'd say it's somewhere between "darn" and "damn", as "darn" has a bit too much of a Ned Flanders ring to it to really be the same.
Then again, I'm neither French nor English. :D
01-11-2001, 08:21 PM
hey guys, this is finally something i know the exact answer to. zut is a french word meaning darn or shoot. its not a cus word like shit or damn, believe me cuz in the french videos at school little kids say it. i know this cuz i just took french last semester.
Duck Duck Goose
01-11-2001, 08:44 PM
Well, shoot, it can't mean "shit" because it's a line of dialogue in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. When Belle finally comes out of her bedroom in the castle, driven by hunger, Lumiere (the candelabra) says, "Zut alors! She has emerged!" and drops the cute little French feather duster he's cuddling.
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
01-11-2001, 09:05 PM
An earlier thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=15355) on this subject.
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