One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A French word for “shit,” used as a mild, generally humorous exclamation in English.‘Merde! What had she done!’
- ‘It hardly captures the mood of the whole thing but tough merde.’
- ‘After all, the French have been throwing merde in the direction of anyone trying to call fizzy wine ‘champagne’ for years.’
- ‘We're very good at it and the French are, quite frankly, merde!’
- ‘But, as he must have pronounced it, the word ‘mud’ had overtones of another of Dickens's favourite words, merde.’
- ‘The comments, overheard and gleefully printed in the Liberation newspaper, have landed the French president deep in the merde on the eve of this week's crucial G8 summit in Scotland.’
- ‘Sometimes I fear we are on the cusp of another age du merde again - a catastrophic meltdown in taste not seen since the 70s.’
- ‘In some instances, employees may seek to demonstrate their sophistication by employing such expressions as merde or putain.’
- ‘Decay, dirt, and untidiness - generally, merde - is actually a rather common theme in modern art.’
- ‘Take the omnipresent merde in the streets, for example.’
- ‘The husky female voice on the other end explained in mangled Franglish that she would like to - merde!’
- ‘Sure, it's as ugly as merde, but it's bigger than their Boeings.’
- ‘Standing before an expectant audience of French speakers with nothing but a few pitiful phrases and a lot of arm-waving to offer, the whole idea now appears vraiment merde.’
- ‘The only way the French like to see us is with egg on our faces and our boots deep in the merde.’
- ‘And they may be blown to merde, bloodied and scattered downslope!’
- ‘They emerge from the mud of modern history - the merde of the twentieth century - but it is not possible to say with what viewpoint.’
- ‘It's just too bad these guys don't come through town as often as the manufactured merde that passes for punk these days.’
French, from Latin merda ‘excrement, dung’.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.