French Friday #10: Décolletage & Décolleté

This week's French word
by:  Mademoiselle Love
pronounced:   dayˈkolətɑːʒ |
 Translation - neck line

Bonjour, mes amis! It has been a long week, so today's coffee is, shall we say, spiked! I stopped by my friend Jenéesaisquoi's new coffee bar, and today, she is serving up espresso martinis. What a perfect way to start off the weekend. We're having a fascinating conversation about a certain French word that most of you have probably heard before: "décolletage". 

You may have used this word to refer to "boobs" or perhaps "cleavage", but that is not exactly correct French usage. In fact the word "décolletage" is not even used in French at all. The word "décolleté" is used instead.
pronounced:    |  day'kolətay |
 Translation - neck line, low neck line

The two words come from the verb "décolleter", which means "to expose the neck". Basically, if your shirt or dress has no collar and reveals some part of the neck, chest or back, you can say it is "décolleté". The word "décolleté" has come to simply mean "neckline". But it has also come to refer to what is revealed by a low neckline. And let's face it, we're not talking about the neck! 

So, from now on, use the word "décolleté", not "décolletage", to refer to the low-cut neckline of a dress or perhaps to your friend's nice rack! Follow the example of our friend Amy Lynn, who is learning more and more every day. She is on a date, by the way. Oh là là!

Pierre: Amy Lynn, your dress is so beautiful. The neckline is extraordinary.

Amy Lynn: You mean, the "décolleté" is extraordinary?
Pierre: Um, that's not what I was talking about... But, um, yes. Of course.

Amy Lynn: Silly! "Décolleté" does mean "boobs", but it also means "neckline". 

Pierre: Oh, ok. I was referring to the neckline, but may I touch your boobs?

Amy Lynn: Mais non! 

That's all for today! 
À vendredi prochain! (See you next Friday!)

Merci Beaucoup,
Mademoiselle Love

jenée here - if anyone has been following for a while, then you may know that my favorite part of the Fall 2012 NY Fashion shows were the gorgeous necklines.  The décolleté is one of the most attractive parts of the female body, in my opinion. It's not prone to weight gain, which is on all of our minds, but it does age (so don't forget moisturizer and sunscreen!). So as summer steadily creeps in, show a little décolleté instead of more leg. You will be surprised by the results.

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 Wednesday and Friday morning 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.