1. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    USA English
    My correspondent has gone to Paris. This is the context where I found this untranslatible term <<je te fais donc un petit "coucou" de PARIS.>> Just a stab that coucou in this context means a short note or letter. CouCou is not in my dictionary nor Word Reference dictionary. Cou has been bounced around in some other contexts by not as "coucou." Anyone up on l'argot? john b as harrybatt
  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    coucou = "cuck-oo" like what the bird says... It means "hello" in informal speech.
  3. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    Hi Harry. Yes, several French forer@s have greeted me with "coucou!" I really like it. Try typing "coucou" into "Search this Forum" - you'll see lots more examples.
  4. Negentropy New Member

    US; English
    Here's a REAL complex culturo-linguistic question (hopefully not a COMPLEXED question! LOL!):

    Could any of you totally (or near-totally) bilingual folks tell me if you think that "coucou" carries a flirty tone or connotation, when used as a greeting between two "sexual/affectional eligibles" (ie, two people at least one of whom, the utterer of the "coucou", has or could conceivably ultimately have a sexual/affectional interest in the other and project this interest is or could conceivably ultimately be reciprocated? (Especially in comparison with other informal or slangy greetings, like "salut", "ciao", "hi", etc.?))

    Note that I am not proposing this as a hypothesis, just asking. I have really NO idea whether it does or not, just the vaguest of hunches, and am hoping a discussion here might shed some light on that question!
  5. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Salut Negentropy et bienvenue sur ce forum ! :)

    For me it's only a way to show how much happy you are to see the other person when you greet her/him. It could be said to a friend or to a lover.
    As for « un petit coucou » written in a letter, it's just to warn it's only a short note not a real letter.
  6. Negentropy New Member

    US; English
    Wow, Karine, what a fast reply! And "coucou, mon chou!"

    OK, you say "for you". So are you saying its use in flirtation is a highly subjective and relative matter, ie, some people would take it as flirty under certain circumstances, but others, under other circumstances, not?

    Would you like me to correct your mistakes in English composition? (Je serais très reconnaissant si tu corrigeais les miennes!)

    Et hop voilà!
  7. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    I said "for me" because I can't speak on behalf of all the francophone people. ;)
    No flirtation connotation with "coucou" in itself. But, if you add "mon chou", it could be! :D

    (and yes, please, do correct my mistakes.)
  8. jojogreene New Member

    US & France; English and French
    There is absolutely no filthy connotation in coucou. I place it more in the realm of child-like speech that is entirely prevalent in adult language. Any word made up of a single syllable repeated twice (isn't there a word to described this?) is child-like to me as in the folowing examples:
    -bobo: very small wound, like a scratch, no idea where it came from and what it's short for. But according to wikipedia, the term "bobologie" refers to the science of small injuries like nose bleeds.
    -dodo: sleep, short for "dormir"
    look up french baby talk and read more on this.
  9. 314a1011 New Member

    A lady I am writing to in France and she uses sometimes ends her letters "Un petit coucou de France, a plus" A French friend told me that means "A little hello from France, see you." I use Google to translate. I thought she was saying she was a little crazy!
  10. spike99999 Member

    English, USA
    Est-ce que cela veut dire 'un petit bonjour'? Je l'ai lu dans un mél.

  11. jierbe31 Senior Member

    French from France

    C'est un expression familière.
    A l'origine, c'est une interjection pour signaler sa présence à quelqu'un (dixit Larousse). Coucou, c'est moi !:)
  12. Already-Seen Senior Member

    French - France
    Not sure whose typo it is (yours or the person who wrote the email), but the correct spelling is "un petit coucou".
  13. spike99999 Member

    English, USA
    Je ne m'étais pas rendu compte du fait qu'il s'agissait d'une erreur typographique! (Je connais bien l'expression "faire un coucou".)

  14. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    a little howdydoo
  15. could I replace "dis bonjour à ta soeur" by "donne un petit coucou à ta soeur"? THANK YOU
  16. BEEKEEPER Senior Member

    France French

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