French to English péché mignon

Dictionary entry: péché mignon

DearPrudence

Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
Dictionary Editor
IdF
French (lower Normandy)
péché mignon nm(petit travers)guilty pleasure n
little weakness n
La cigarette est mon péché mignon.
péché mignon nm(plat favori) (food)guilty pleasure n
little indulgence n
Le tiramisu, c'est le péché mignon de ma mère.

I completely agree with Oscar Aqueterre's answer here:
Un péché mignon, c'est une tentation à laquelle on est incapable de résister. Mais c'est une chose dont on ne fait pas mystère. On dira par exemple : La curiosité est son péché mignon.
Loin d'offusquer personne, le péché mignon est considéré par l'entourage comme une sympathique faiblesse.
Comme l'a évoqué Snarkhunter, c'est souvent employé pour une prédilection gustative : Pour son anniversaire, chacun de ses amis est arrivé avec une boîte de chocolats ; on sait que le chocolat, c'est son péché mignon.
= no shame in admitting it to your friends:
"Le chocolat, c'est mon péché mignon" (and hopefully, my friends will give me a lot of chocolate every time they come and visit me :yummy:

It seems at odds with the English definition:
GUILTY PLEASURE | Definition of GUILTY PLEASURE by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of GUILTY PLEASURE
Something, such as a film, television programme, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.
‘everybody has a guilty pleasure—for me, it has to be mid 70s disco’
So it seems something quite shameful you want to hide from your friends.
This would rather be "un plaisir honteux" in French. A few examples:
Nos petits plaisirs honteux
Chanter du "2b3" sous la douche, faire pipi dans la piscine, se mettre les doigts dans le nez, lire la presse people, rire de quelqu'un qui chute, ne rien dire à la caissière qui nous a rendu trop de monnaie, cancaner...

Melanie Bernier, une délurée chez Balzac
Le plaisir honteux que vous avouez le plus facilement ?
Mon goût pour les conneries genre “Secret Story”. J’ai beau me dire : “C’est de la crotte !”, j’y prends goût.
 
  • DrD

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    England English
    Oh, I can assure you that a guilty pleasure is generally not something you hide from your friends. In fact, you normally laugh about it on social media. It's just something you feel like you probably shouldn't do or like, and it can definitely be food (in which case, something where you feel it's a bit naughty, like chocolate, but you indulge anyway). You don't really feel ashamed, just a bit naughty in the case of food, or perhaps you don't want your really cool and judgemental coworker to know in the case of your cheesy taste in music/TV shows/trashy novels etc. It's something you wouldn't want to admit if you were trying to impress someone, but probably everyone who knows you well absolutely knows you like it.

    As for your two examples of plaisirs honteux, for the second I'd probably say 'guilty pleasure', yes, but for everything on that first list, it would be more like 'shameful secret'.
     

    DrD

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    England English
    No problem - I actually spent yesterday afternoon wondering if there's a cultural element to this. Maybe us English types can't enjoy stuff without feeling guilty/embarrassed :D
     
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