1. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    The atilf says that zut is a combination of "ut" and elision from the final "s" of the preceding word, turning the "s" into "z" : z + ut = zut

    That's the easy part; :) as for translating it...How about "Darn [it]!" = Zut!


    Mot issu de l'agglutination de deux élém., z- et -ut, dont le premier représente un -s final dans allons ou je te/lui dis; le z de liaison, motivé ou non, était caractéristique du genre poissard qui fleurissait au déb. du XIXe s. (cf. BRUNOT t. 10, p. 100 et p. 263) et a fourni notre attest. de 1813. Le deuxième élém., ut ou sa var. hut, apparaît dans un sens voisin de zut ...

    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2013
  2. TJBP Junior Member

    English U.S.
    I read that zut alors means shoot or darn. Is this true and is zut alors considered a cuss word? If it is considered a cuss word, is it a strong or mild one? Is there a concept of strong vs. mild cuss words in France?
    I'm making a small card with that on it for a friend and I want to be sure it isn't something horrible. We often say shoot fuzzy which is ok to say around children at school. I am meaning it in that vein.
  3. Garbonzia Senior Member

    zut = shoot! (us)
    = blast ! (uk)
  4. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    Hello TJBP,

    Yes there are such things as mild cuss words in French, and "zut" is indeed one of them. The "alors" puts more emphasis, makes it more lively.
    I had listed it as a "safe expression of annoyance" in that thread
  5. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    In the "ROBERT-COLLINS" dictionary "Zut alors" or"Et puis zuy" is tanslated by "What the heck!". What do you think about?
  6. TJBP Junior Member

    English U.S.
    Thank you all. I learn so much from you and your discussions with each other. As a teacher (although we shouldn't even think cuss words) we have to have something safe. "Et puis zut" would work I think and also zut alors.[...]Thanks again.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2011
  7. Honfleur

    Honfleur Junior Member

    English, Canada
    I'll just put my two cents worth in on "zut alors". I attended school in France and it was used as a polite expression of disappointment in any failed endeavour. Mark Twain's characters use an equivalent "shucks", but caution, it is more of a rural expression, probably most frequent in the Mississippi area.
  8. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English
    But "shucks" is not a modified form of an oath or of some vulgar word. It just means an embarassing pile of worthless nothing that one's work has turned out to be. There's the corn - and there's the shucks.

    Merriam-Webster (on line)
    Main Entry: 1shuck [​IMG]
    Pronunciation: 'sh&k
    Function: noun
    Etymology: origin unknown
    1 : SHELL, HUSK: as a : the outer covering of a nut or of Indian corn b : the shell of an oyster or clam
    2 : something of little value -- usually used in plural <not worth shucks>

    Aw shucks, 'tweren't nothin'!

    My next-door neighbor is so dumb,
    He’d toss the corn and eat the shucks.
  9. procrastinator11 New Member

    usa, english
    "zut alors" is basically "darn it"

    my french professor uses it all the time, and in every french language textbook i have looked it, it gives this translation.

    i think "shucks" is a little too cheesy of a translation; i dont think anyone would say "aw shucks" in the united states unless they were trying to be silly.
  10. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English

    Some say it; and MANY write it, with several variations in meaning:

    1. Happy Embarrassment for something good:
    (= Gosh, you shuddanah)
    (= Same)

    2. Embarrassment over something bad, or the mistake itself:
    Dang, bad news; the bad news itself; or: it could be worse, or: Who Knew?:
    (=dang, now there is going to be more bad news)
    (= the bad news itself = bullsh*t from others)
    (= what a dumbass mess you made)
    (= this is nothing to worry about right now, I hope)
    (the “Aw shucks defense” = I’m as surprised as you are things went wrong and you know I’m too stupid to have planned it.)

    3. Fake Embarrassment: False Modesty:
    (the “Aw Shucks” category = things we’re proud of, but we don’t pat ourselves on the back too much” – or: it really was no big deal….)
    (Same: “defending their greatness and proclaiming their humility”)
    (Same: = false modesty)
    (litotic: = What a conundrum: it was a success, and I have to make more!)

    4. Disappointment (real, fake, or hypocritical):
    (see poster = disappointment: It’s too bad it didn’t go further)
    (= disappointment = it could have been so much better)
    (=simple disappointment = I missed out on something)
    (= ironic comments = “not to say that” used ironically (= no big surprise)
    Previous predictions by U.S. intelligence had cited 2015 as the earliest date Iran could develop a weapon.
    Well, shucks! Looks like we underestimated those darned Iranians once again.
    (same: derisive laughter)

    4. Another word for NERD: Like them or not!
    (=another word for nerd) (as in an “aw shucks” kind of guy)
    (= and don’t make a big deal of it)
    (and the reply: You don’t have to like him (it), but I DO)

    And still alive enough to generate new combinations:

    Not to say you stepped in a pile of shuckdiddles here!
  11. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    Blast is no longer current in the UK - much more common now would be 'damn!'
  12. Musical Chairs Senior Member

    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    When I asked this question, people told me it's for the BCBG.
  13. Jocaste

    Jocaste Senior Member

    Can "zut alors" be translated with "blimey" ?
    I don't know if blimey is old-fashioned, but no doubt zut alors isn't very used today !
  14. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    'blimey' is a bit old-fashioned too - it's use is also slightly different - it tends to indicate more surprise than annoyance
  15. Jocaste

    Jocaste Senior Member

    Ok merci pour la nuance :)
  16. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    And it's only used in England.
  17. delion New Member

    "Blimey!" is still used in the UK and I do not agree that it is old fashioned. Yes, it is a casual, colloquial expletive which has been around a while, but its continued use distinguishes it from genuinely passé phrases such as "blast", which is generally only used these days for comic effect. But perhaps the real difference between "blimey!" and "blast!" is one of class. A working class person would say "blimey!" an upper class person would have said "blast!"
  18. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    Blast! I thought I was working class.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  19. franc 91 Senior Member

    English - GB
    In BCBG speak in BE, I suggest - Oh dear! or Oh how annoying!
  20. UKnight Banned


    I love this funny thread.

    The French Zut alors ! sounds old-fashioned nowadays, but, I love it, personally. It sounds smart:).
    The other French equivalents sound... Er... Forget it...


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