C'est parti, mon kiki !

LMorland

Senior Member
American English
"C'est parti, mon kiki !"

This phrase is referenced here C'est parti! as "Sure, let's get cracking!" but I'd like it to have its own entry in the dictionary.

And also, maybe some of you could offer a slightly different way of translating this phrase? Thanks in advance.
 
  • JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    Well - c'est parti mon kiki is basically exactly the same as c'est parti (with some sentence-lengthening assonance).
    So the basic meaning is here we go, here they go - why not let's get cracking if it's about beginning a job?...
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    Well - c'est parti mon kiki is basically exactly the same as c'est parti (with some sentence-lengthening assonance).
    So the basic meaning is here we go, here they go - why not let's get cracking if it's about beginning a job?...
    Thanks, JdS!

    Oh I agree, "Let's get cracking" is perfectly all right. I'd just love something that conveys more of the inherent meanings in this little phrase.

    You see, the speaker of these words is about to set off, for the first time in over five months, in a boat whose mast broke during a round-the-world monohull race last December. So this sailor is quite attached to his boat, and in a way "mon kiki" is referring to the boat as an extension of himself (in a way that a penis is an extension from oneself).

    Maybe "Let's go, baby!" ?

    P.S. Topsie, if we can't magically come up with a phrase that reveals a bit of the double meaning, I like your suggestion (which you picked up even without knowing how appropriate it was in this particular situation!).
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    I wonder whether anyone, in France at least, will see a double meaning in mon kiki with some male symbol...
    Ah non ? Well I was never a French-speaking child, so I have no idea. I just assumed from reading this thread Ils me montraient leur kiki that the word kiki would have that kind of resonance for a native French speaker.

    But I know in English we have homonyms that really are separate and distinct in one's head, so maybe that's the case here?
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    We're off (at last)! (?)

    We're off to the races me semble être une tournure qu'on entend souvent dans les mêmes circonstances

    Let's get cracking précède le départ/le lancement - Allez, au boulot !

    (Ma mère me disait souvent Get cracking! pour me faire faire mes devoirs d'école !)
     

    JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    We're off to the races me semble être une tournure qu'on entend souvent dans les mêmes circonstances
    Let's get cracking précède le départ/le lancement - Allez, au boulot !
    (Ma mère me disait souvent Get cracking! pour me faire faire mes devoirs d'école !)
    Indeed, c'est parti mon kiki is said after the race has begun!

    As for kiki = pénis - as Grop said, not in this context! C'est parti mon kiki is plainly innocent. I'm afraid this is a blow to our reputation - leaving aside a possible innuendo...
     

    Frenchpastorale

    Senior Member
    French
    We could add a small detail to this cute "kiki" discussion...
    It always implies some JOY....
    Have a good day and the enthusiasm of a kiki's start...
     

    Tibbie

    Member
    USA
    American English
    This phrase is used in chapter 5 of Le Petit Nicolas by one of two radio men. "C'est parti, mon Kiki." All the children of course think the other man's name is M. Kiki. I see the humor on several levels, pet name for Christian, zizi, etc. I am interested in learning other interpretations. So let me know what all of you think.

    Thanks!
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    Let's get going - starting now - off we go - we're off
    Actually, this same French (Breton) sailor used this same phrase in a video I had to translate just a couple of months ago. (He was sailing the Route de Rhum this time -- and won! :)

    He seems to say C'est parti, mon kiki ! when he's already set sail -- that is, he's well in the water -- but is starting a new phase of a race. So the last two of franc 91's expressions work best in my context.

    Again, thank you all for your contributions. It was fun to read this thread again after 2-1/2 years! :D
     
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    TheMinkey

    New Member
    French Canadian
    With apologies to the majority here, the expression "C'est parti, mon kiki !" does *not* mean "get cracking" (get started). That is incorrect.

    "C'est parti, mon kiki !" can only be said once one is *already* underway.

    LMorland said "... French (Breton) sailor used ... C'est parti, mon kiki ! when he's already set sail ..."

    LMorland is completely right. In "C'est parti, mon kiki !" the part "C'est parti" means "It's underway!" or "It's in progress!" (examples: We're off! We're on our way! We have a launch!). It could also mean "It's gone!" There is also enthusiasm or joy in the expression.
     
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    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    With apologies to the majority here, the expression "C'est parti, mon kiki !" does *not* mean "get cracking" (get started). That is incorrect.

    "C'est parti, mon kiki !" can only be said once one is *already* underway.
    Bienvenue au Forum, TheMinkey, and thank you for your very welcome contribution! :)

    While Wildan (post #9) and TeaFrog (post #11) already emphasized the "already underway" aspect to the phrase, no one before you made this particular distinction so well.

    (I've also gone back to the older thread where that translation first popped up, and referenced your post. Merci encore !)
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    Just a postcript to this thread: I was delighted to see this expression pop up on expressio.fr - Les exprssions françaises décortiquées. Here's a bit of what he has to say:
    Quant au kiki, il ne s'agit ici pas de celui de Félix, qui est gros selon ce qu'affirme vertement Zézette dans le Père Noël est une ordure. En effet, notre formule est complètement équivalente à un vas-y mon poussin que prononcerait une mère pour encourager son enfant. Or, par le plus grand des hasards, il se trouve qu'en argot kiki désigne aussi une volaille (entière ou ses abattis).
    He also cites three points made Cellard et Rey, in their Dictionnaire du français non conventionnel. Here's one:
    les dames de petites vertu utilisaient d'abord cette appellation pour héler le chaland dont elles ne connaissaient pas le prénom, puis l'expression pour signaler à leurs collègues qu'elles avaient réussi à convaincre leur cible et qu'elles disparaissaient temporairement avec elle.

    See: http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/c-est-parti-mon-kiki.php

    Happy New Year / Bonne Année ! :D
     
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    Uncle Bob

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think there are two other problems with "Let's get cracking". As I see it, "C'est parti, mon kiki" expresses enthusiasm but does not, in itself, mean "hurry up" as does "Let's get cracking". Also, if the boat race was last December then "Let's get cracking" is rather dated, as indicated by Wildan's quotation of his mother (and my mother also used it).

    As an alternative to Topsie's "We're off!", JeandeSponde's "Here we go!" seems fine (my contribution is to add the exclamation mark).
     

    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    How about : "Hit it!" ?
    For the "mon kiki" part, which is only there for the (poor) rhyme, one might add : "before it hits you"
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    How about : "Hit it!" ?
    For the "mon kiki" part, which is only there for the (poor) rhyme, one might add : "before it hits you"
    Well, "hit it!" seems equivalent in force to "get cracking!", which was explained above to be an incorrect translation for this particular phrase.

    According to TheMinky (French-Canadian),
    C'est parti, mon kiki !" can only be said once one is *already* underway.
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    Is 'Let's go, daddi-o!' still used nowadays? Is it like the French expression something funny and mostly used with children?
    Good point -- it's probably a bit ringard, now that you mention it. But all it would take is for a popular cartoon character (or Tik-Tok star) to use it... it would be instantly understood -- at least by North Americans -- and would become current again, at least for a while.

    How current is C'est parti, mon kiki ! ?
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    It's still used, but in a humorous way. It always brings a smile on people's faces when they hear it, it usually reminds them of their childhood. So it's funny to hear it from a sailor racing La Route du Rhum, not quite the same situation as when you're going to school or on vacation to see your grandparents (nothing to do with a nickname he would give to his boat)!
     
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