Trawling in Tree Town

On the way to the dentist's office this morning, I had a conversation in my head with fellow SI students about What To Do in Ann Arbor.

Well, I explained to them, if you're looking for a really good cheese selection, I'd try Zingerman's or Big Ten. But I guess you're probably not. I'm better to ask about practical things like that than, say, which clubs to go to. I'm not really into going out and wiggling around in a little tiny top, trying to drag all the mecs.

This seemed like a perfectly normal thing to say until I realized I'd said mecs instead of guys. And once I'd realized that, I realized that I'd said "drag". What? We don't use that word that way in English. What I'd meant was draguer. And now, several hours later, I can't think of a good word to translate draguer.

I think it's a really good word for the situation, though, because it sort of reminds me of trawling - the idea of a fishing boat dragging its nets and trapping everything in its path. That's sort of what I meant, in a figurative way.

srah - Friday, 29 August 2003 - 2:10 PM
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Comments (7)

gravatar katie - August 29, 2003 - 2:39 PM -

For some reason, I love this post. Why? Dunno. Maybe because I, too, have a habit of interjecting perfectly reasonable frenchisms into english conversations. Then I get irritated when people look at me funny and I have to insist that I am making perfect sense.

FYI, if you ever come to Burlington, Cheese Traders, on Williston Road has the best cheese selection around. Well, them and the deli department at the Shelburne Road Price Chopper.

You care, right?

gravatar Jez - August 29, 2003 - 2:43 PM -

draguer, I think can either mean "to chat somebody up", or "to try to pull somebody". Used in the past tense, "j'ai dragué une bonne moeuf hier soir", it means you succeeded in pulling.
Do you use the verb 'to pull' in that context in the US?

gravatar srah - August 29, 2003 - 2:53 PM -

No. Therein lies the rub.

gravatar srah - August 29, 2003 - 2:54 PM -

I think what I like about draguer is that you can either draguer a specific person or draguer in general. I can't think of anything in English that works that way.

gravatar katie - August 29, 2003 - 3:29 PM -

Do the use the verb "to pull" that way in the UK? That just sounds weird to me.

I like the verb tenir when used in the reflexive sense "Tiens-toi" or "Je me tiens". That doesn't translate at ALL in English, and I can't think of another way of saying it without going: *slap* "Get a hold of yourself, sir!"

gravatar Jez - August 29, 2003 - 4:25 PM -

Yes, 'to pull' is used like that in the UK. People go out "on the pull", ie: to do some general draguer-ing.

Don't you say something like 'to hit on somebody' in the US? That's draguer-ing. But I suppose it isn't a tidy one-word translation, though, which I guess is what you're after.

There's 'to seduce', but that's straying a little bit from the meaning.

To chat somebody up? To flirt? To come on to somebody?

gravatar katie - September 2, 2003 - 11:12 AM -

In some bars, this translates to "to be a total ass".

To go out "on the pull"?? That sounds sexual to me. Sexual in a "guy home alone by himself" kind of way.

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