My boss, that duck

I worked in Paris for a couple of years in the 90's. My boss was a somewhat unpleasant individual, not very popular, in fact so unpopular the staff referred to him behind his back as le connard (never got to the bottom of the exact translation, but 'the bastard' will do). At home one evening I was telling my wife what people thought of my boss, and she was extremely puzzled: "But why do they call him 'the duck'?" I suppose with my accent it sounded like le canard. I went back into work and told the girls, and le canard stuck. Unfortunately I didn't, and I was back home in the UK by the following year!

Sent by: Mike


Becki, Brighton 2009-09-05

I only completed the 1st year of my French A Level, but I obviously still thought I knew enough to show off, when a few years later I bumped into my flat mate's new French boyfriend in the corridoor at University. "Salut" I said, wanting to demonstrate that I was above the normal 'bonjour'. Instead of looking impressed, he stopped in his tracks and stared at me in abject horror, before rushing off without replying.
Later that evening, my irritated flatmate demanded to know why I had called her boyfriend a bastard...
Think I need to work on my pronunciation...

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Pip 2008-07-18

Con in Old French is, er, the c-word... you know, the one in Lady Chatterley... so yes, con and connard not to be trifled with unless you're sure you know what you're doing! Which, incidently, is why in French you say qu'il, qu'elle, but que l'on!

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Mike 2007-06-20

Le connard is a very rude word in the line of 'asshole'. To avoid at any rate.

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Steve 2007-05-28

Le connard comes from the word con which means stupid or idiotic. In this way, le connard can be taken to mean 'the idiot'. 'Bastard' translates as either bâtard or salaud

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