c'est une coquette

boubou

Member
France
Hello,

the context is seduction. In English, what is a coquette?

Is it just like in French? The thing is that in French, the adjective is pretty muched used, but as a noun, it it is a very old fashioned expression?

Is it as common as let's say, brunette in English? Is it slang, familiar, common, upperclass ? I really have no clue.
 
  • JasmineIII

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    traductions proposées par Encarta:

    flirtatious; (joli) charming; (élégant) stylish; une somme coquette a tidy amount Lexique bilingue anglais Copyright C. Langenscheidt KG Berlin and Munich 2000.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In English it is a flirt, a young woman who teases.
    I don't think I've ever heard the word spoken in the US - it strikes me as purely literary, suitable for Victorian novels. I think I've heard seen coquettish more than coquette, something like she gave him a coquettish glance and delicately waved her fan.
     

    Lucy_J

    Member
    USA- romanian
    Well, it could be a flirtatious woman, but also a elegant/stylish one. It can also suggest "attractive /seductive" , but I would not translate "coquette" by "seductive" (seduction would be a result of being charming/stilish/coquette").
    If it is a literary text, you may want to keep the original "coquette" (they have their cultural backround, like for instance "libertins & coquettes"in the 18th century)
     

    macdevster

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Adding a followup question to this: My daughter has a book for kids called La Princesse Coquette by Christine Naumann-Villemin. The little girl in the story is cute and perhaps mischievous, but certainly not flirtatious. Can "coquette" mean something like "cute" or "mischievous" when applied to little girls?
     

    boubou

    Member
    France
    This is distinct. The title "la princesse coquette" is French. In its french meaning, coquette applied to a little girl means that she likes to dress and look well, not more.
     

    Killmesarah

    Member
    French
    I wanted to translate: "Je suis coquette" into English.
    Can I say "I like taking care of myself" or "I'm stylish" ? Do you have any other ideas ?

    Thanks for your help !
     

    WordRef1

    Senior Member
    English - America
    I find this difficult to translate because in English we have a rarely used, but specific meaning while I think in French it depends on context a lot more and has meanings that certainly would not apply in English, yet dictionaries seem to only want to equate the English and French meaning.
    Still, if you are using it in terms of seduction, that sounds like how I would use it in English. I think that maybe we aren't all that certain of what it means either, but I think of it as flirtatiously teasing in the way that would probably apply to adolescent girls who seem to do that naturally without necessarily seeming to be direct or even intentional about it.
    I guess you could use it as a noun, but here too I would be more likely to think of the adjective coquettish.
     

    Killmesarah

    Member
    French
    I know that meanings of this word differ a lot in English and in French.

    In French, "être coquet / coquette" doesn't mean anything else than "to like taking care of oneself" (make up, clothes, ...). It is never employed in the sense of "flirtatious" as in English (in french, we say "elle / il minaude" ou c'est un/une "midinet(te)".

    Could "stylish" apply ?
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I take care with my appearance, maybe. (The Search Engine prefers "I take care of" here, but I don't; I'm not sure why.)
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    How about simply saying "She's stylish", as suggested by Killmesarah a few years ago? It would only work for an adult or teenager--not a child, but there is no negative connotation to that expression in English.
     

    Mauricet

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Il y a une grosse différence entre C'est une coquette, qui peut (suivant le contexte) tout à fait suggérer une séductrice (et qui n'accorde rien), et Elle est coquette : elle soigne son apparence, elle aime bien s'habiller joliment, elle se regarde dans la glace, etc.
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    Back to the basics: from the excellent CNRTL online dictionary

    Qui a le souci de plaire.
    1. Par une mine soignée, une toilette recherchée.
    2. Par son esprit, ses manières, ses attitudes. Air, geste, regard coquet.
    3. En particulier. Qui est soucieux de plaire à une personne de l'autre sexe. Particulièrement, au féminin (souvent péjoratif)

    So the main point rather seems to be "aiming to be liked" or something like that.

    The English acceptation matches the third entry pretty well. I can't think of a generic equivalent for the other two.
     
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