French Gone Wrong: “I’ll have a condom.”

There are so many ways to embarrass yourself in French. And goodness knows I do.

You’ve probably heard that préservatif does NOT mean preservative in French, nor does it have anything to do with jam. It means condom. I still consciously remind myself not to accidentally talk about condoms when I want to discuss preservatives. But even if you successfully remember not to bring up préservatifs, there are so many other ways to get yourself in trouble.

Do not call this
This is la confiture. Don’t forget!

One evening, I was at the dinner table with my beau-père. We were staying with Hugo’s parents, and for some reason, his dad and I were the only ones at home for dinner that evening. After dinner, he asked if I would like I yogurt or an applesauce for dessert. Sure, I said, an applesauce would be nice.

Except that’s not what I said. I said, “Je prendrai une capote.”

“Une compote” is an applesauce. “Une capote” is slang for condom. Whoops!

Why couldn't I have just asked for yogurt?
Why couldn’t I have just asked for yogurt?

I crossed my fingers that he wouldn’t notice, or that he would chalk it up to my accent. But now I’m always verrry careful to pronounce the “om” in “compote”!

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