Europe

Hortefeux's genital slip of the tongue is web hit

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux
Image caption Brice Hortefeux made the gaffe while discussing the types of data police keep on criminals

A slip of the tongue by France's interior minister has become an internet hit after he mistakenly spoke of "genital prints".

Brice Hortefeux meant to say fingerprints - empreintes digitales in French - but instead said empreintes genitales.

He was distinguishing them from genetic prints - empreintes genetiques - or DNA records.

He made the gaffe during a joint radio and television interview.

Mr Hortefeux was discussing on RTL radio and LCI television the types of data police keep for tracking criminals.

Thousands of people have watched the video of Mr Hortefeux's interview on websites such as France's Le Post.

Last month a similar faux pas by France's former justice minister, Rachida Dati, also became an internet hit.

Ms Dati said spoke of "fellatio" instead of "inflation" during an interview on foreign investment funds.

The French word for fellatio, fellation, sounds similar to inflation in French.

Political mix-up

Mr Hortefeux apparently referred to Ms Dati's mistake last week when referring to another slip of the tongue by a cabinet colleague, Luc Chatel.

With speculation rife over who President Nicolas Sarkozy will choose to lead his government in a forthcoming reshuffle, Mr Chatel said, "The president named me prime minister", before hastily adding, "I mean education minister".

Mr Hortefeux said "Mr Chatel's slip is far less revealing than the one by you know who."

Le Post website said Mr Hortefeux was now getting a taste of his own medicine.

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