French Friday #5: Boutique


Please Don't say BO-Teek
La Tasse de Café | French Vocabulary by Mademoiselle Love

Boutique 
Pronounced: [ BOO - TEEK ]   not  [ BO - TEEK ]
Translation: A Small Store

Today, I, Mademoiselle Love, am enjoying my Tasse de café at home again. I haven't had the time to go to a cool coffee shop in a while! Today, I am drinking the delicious Ristretto blend by Nespresso. And just because I'm a coffee snob does not mean I can't enjoy a little bit of bottled hazelnut coffee creamer. I mean, at least I drink International Delight instead of Coffee-mate. Come on, it's international- uh-em, it's so not. Moving on...               

Everyone out there has heard the word "boutique" I'm sure, and you may have heard people (Americans) pronouncing it wrong. Please correct them next time, just as Simone corrects Amy Lynn in the conversation below. Amy Lynn might get offended, but she should really thank Simone for helping her to not sound dumb!



Amy Lynn: OMG, Simone, I'm gonna hit up some fancy BO-tiques today! Wanna come?

Simone: Amy Lynn, if you wanna sound fancy, at least say the word right. Let's go hit up those BOO-tiques together and then get mani-pedis! OMG!


Amy Lynn: OMG, thanks Simone. I feel like I just got, like, immediately smarter!



Where did this beautiful word come from and how can it be used?

"Boutique" comes from the Greek word for pharmacy: ἀποθήκη (apothēkē) and in French has come to mean "a small store". But in English it has come to mean something more. Again, it seems that just because the word is French, we assume it MUST refer to something fancy. But in French any small store could be referred to as a boutique, whereas in English, it refers to a small independent store carrying unique or high-end items, usually clothing items. We now also refer to small, independent luxury hotels as boutique hotels, and there are even boutique investment firms and law firms!


Next time you're in France, and you hear someone refer to a stupid touristy shop as a boutique, don't be surprised! In French, the word does not have the allure that it has in English.

Merci, Mademoiselle Love
......................................................................................

jenée here: I found this drawing last week that i adore of the always fun Henri Bendels. It's a large store in size but it is considered to carry boutique brands since they are unique and high-end. Enjoy some shopping this weekend!!!
............................................................................................................
The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"
Is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on KVPI-FM
My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 
Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and my friend, the author, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.
Tune in to KVPI every Mon, Wed & Fri mornings at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. But to make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.