A selection of Provencal words

Living in Provence means listening to the song of the cicadas during summer. And when they are silent, it is the words of the Provençal people that rock us with their singing accent, but also with the use of words specific to the South of France.

These are the few words I would like you to discover today. This list is obviously not exhaustive. Most of these words appear in the Larousse from which the definition below is extracted (the asterisk refers to those not yet included in the famous dictionary).

B like

  • Bader: to remain speechless ; to daydream (Provençal, badar).
  • Barjaquer: to chatt, to talk without saying anything.
  • Bouléguer: to shake. Heard the first time at the school lottery, « Hé, boulègue! » (implying lotto chips).

C like

  • Cabanon: small country house in Provence.
  • Cagole: extrovert young woman, a little dizzy and vulgar. « Arrête de faire ta cagole » means « stop getting noticed. » Provençal people prefer la Cagole, the name of a local beer from Marseille.
  • Ça va*: expression to say okay, all right. « Tu passes me prendre ? – Ça va ! »
  • Calade: in Provence, paved street generally sloping (from Provencal, calada, paver).
  • Cafi*: full. « Il est cafi de sous qu’il sait plus quoi en faire. »

E like

  • Emboucaner*: to disturb, to annoy, to smell bad. « Elle nous a emboucané toute la soirée avec ses problèmes de couple. »
  • Ensuqué: knocked out, asleep under the influence of the sun….
  • Escagasser: to deteriorate, to damage something / To tire, to annoy someone (Provençal, escagassa, to collapse, to crush).
  • Estoufado*: stodge (about a heavy dish).

F like

  • Fada: stupid, a little crazy (Provençal, fadas, de fat, silly).
  • Farigoule: Provençal name for thyme (Provençal, farigoulo).

G like

  • Galinette*: little chicken.
  • Guardian: guardian of a herd of bulls or horses (Provençal, gadar, to guard).

In Provençal the gardian refers to the guardian of a herd of horses or bulls

  • Gâté*: hug, embrace. « Viens faire un gâté” signifie means “come and embrace me for a hug. »

J like

  • Jaune(t)*: pastis (syn. Pastaga). « Marius, met nous un ptit Jaune ! Y fait soif . »

K like

  • Kéké: snotty, stupid « Qué kéké, celui-là ! »

L like

  • Longue (de): all the time. « Il me parle de longue de cette fille. »

P like

  • Péguer: to be sticky (du provençal, pega, pitch). « La confiture, ça pègue aux doigts » say my children who grew up in Provence.
  • Peuchère: synonymous with pécaïre, Languedoc exclamation of tenderness, pity.
  • Pitchoun: term expressing tenderness towards a small child, towards someone who is protected (Provençal, pitchoun, small).

R like

  • Ravi: in Provence, no one naive, gullible; simple-minded. All Provençal crèches have their Ravi.

To pronounce avé the accent :-))) And now you speak as Pagnol.

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