Word of the Week: ‘un moulin à paroles’ 

Today, I’ve chosen ‘un moulin à paroles’ for the Word of the Week simply because talking, along with eating, is one of my favourite things. 

Check out more language posts here, and for more Word of the Week posts, why not have a look here

Word of the Week:

‘Un moulin à paroles’. 

How to pronounce it:

Uhn moo-lahn ah pah-roll. 

What it means in English:

Literally meaning ‘word mill’, this translates into English as ‘chatterbox’. 

Where does it come from?

It started to be used in French as early as the mid-seventeenth century as another way of describing people’s tongues, as it helps people to produce sounds and words. 

It was only in the second half of the eighteenth century that ‘un moulin à paroles’ began to be used to describe someone who was particularly talkative. 

How to use it in a sentence:

‘Il est très bavard, c’est un vrai moulin à paroles.’   

English translation:

‘He’s very talkative – a real chatterbox.’ 

Similar words:

To talk = Bavarder

To chat = Causer

To chat = Papoter (informal) 

What about you?  

What do you think of these words, and do you have any other favourite French expressions? 


One Comment Add yours

  1. Rosie says:

    I remember coming across this expression at the start of the year, when I was teaching English idioms to my postgraduates – I found the mental image of a chatty windmill absolutely hilarious! Good choice 🙂


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