Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

The leopard never changes his spots

By Miki

If you think that this expression tells some truth, then you are wrong!

Some days ago Shelley told us about her intention to paint the beautiful Armur Leopard…  or at least his spots! Some of us were very curious to see how she would achieve that. She did it, and she did it beautifully: have a look here

And you will see how a leopard can change his spots!


February 12, 2008 Posted by | animals, Art, culture, humor, personal, Proverbs and Sayings, women | 4 Comments

Queer as folk

By Contessine

This title of an American television movie relating the love affairs of a gay community is very interesting in relation to the French idiomatic expression often written

« PD comme un phoque »

literally “queer as seal”. Even if the meaning of this last word in American and in French is different, I can’t help comparing the title with the French saying. First, Queer and PD designate, both in a pejorative way, the members of the homosexual community. Second, in the two cases, the expressions establish a comparison. And, the last but not the least, the nearly phonetic similarity between “folk” and “phoque” (seal) is obvious. But the true question remains : why a seal?
A simple look at the seal’s sexual behaviour gives no serious explanation. With the aim of justifying the apparently unfounded French expression, some attempt to find similarity between the two objects of the comparison : some saying that it is because the seal swims with his tail (for which the French translation (queue), in a vulgar way, hints too at the masculine sex); others because the animal, coming out of the sea, lets out a hoarse breath…These kind of cock-and-bull explanations don’t convince me. Too far-fetched! After all, why choose the seal when there are other animals much more representative of this way of life? Why not say, for example, queer as bonobos? Maybe because the Man (l’Homme) is descended from the monkey…
Another explanation, to my mind more convincing, is based on the phonetic oral confusion between phoque (seal) and foc (jib). So, referring to this sail which takes the wind from behind, the real expression would be: queer as jib (PD comme un foc). This error seems easier to explain. Orally conveyed, the expression has no indication about the way of writing a word which the phonetic structure refers to different meanings. Basically, the comparison is used with the intention of making a better mental representation of the compared object. In this way, everybody knows the word phoque (seal), but the so specific foc (jib) is not a part of common language.
Actually, the solution is not yet totally established, even if, come hell or high water, the second explanation is linguistically validated. At last, this French expression is really queer…on the both sides of the adjective. So, good riddance!

February 12, 2008 Posted by | humor, life, men, movies, personal, Proverbs and Sayings, women, writing | 10 Comments

The apple never falls far from the hearts…

By Miki

Apple and hearts and Valentines

In German we have a saying

“Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm”

“The apple never falls far from the tree”

which means something like: children always copy their parents, look like them, behave like them, etc…

I don’t want to discuss here the truth of this expression, I much prefer to change it a little bit and remind all of you that it is soon Valentines. Why the apple? Well, last year, on Valentines day, when I came to my Apple laptop in the morning, it was covered with hearts… they looked like leaves fallen from a tree… this gives me an idea: I should sell Apple following motto

“The hearts never fall far from Apple”

Anyway, I would love a Valentines party in Cafe Crem on the 14th. Love is the most important theme on the world, so I think we could at least give it one day, don’t you think so?

February 12, 2008 Posted by | Art, culture, friends, life, love, men, random, Valentines, women | , , , , | 5 Comments