Glossary of French Terms

  • Mémère / Mèmè = Grammy or Gran
  • les rivières = the rivers
  • Ma famille = My family
  • Donc = Therefore; and so
  • Pépère / Pèpè = Grampy or Papa
  • Aboîteaux = a sluice, a gate that holds back water
  • Les Martin = the Martins (with any family name)
  • Astheur = now
  • C’est vrai = It’s/That’s true.
  • en politiques = in politics
  • …n’est-ce pas? = don’t they?
  • comme j’ai dit avant = as I said before
  • itou = also
  • Alors = so
  • et = and
  • je suis acadienne = I am acadian
  • moi = me/I
  • Ecoute = Listen
  • Eh bien = Oh, well
  • C’est la famille de Pèpè = That’s Grandpa’s family
  • C’est une bonne question = That’s a good question
  • Incroyable = Incredible
  • mon chou = lit. my cabbage; my dear

Think About it… (for family or class discussion)

1) Josephine learns where the people of Acadia come from. Do you know where these places are in France?

2) Do you recognize any of the names of families that Josephine’s grandparents mention as they think about Acadian families? Which ones? Does anyone in your neighborhood or town have that name?

3) Josephine’s grandmother calls her “mon chou,” which literally means, my cabbage, but is a term of endearment, like “my dear.” Can you think of any terms of endearment, nice ways that your parents or grandparents call you, that also relate to foods? What do they say? Why do you think they use these kinds of words? Why do you think the French use the word, cabbage?

4) Acadia was geographically isolated, especially in winter, when all the rivers and waterways were frozen. What other places can you think of that are geographically isolated like this?

5) What are some of the other things that bound the people of Acadia together?

6) Why wasn’t Josephine’s last name, Picard, on the list of Acadian names?

7) Is everyone in the Saint John River Valley Acadian?

Use your Newspaper(with Maine Learning Results applications)

People who consider themselves Acadian live all over Maine and all over the world. For the duration of this series, search your newspaper for the Acadian names mentioned in this chapter. Also look for Acadian names on business and advertising signs. Write down the name and where the newspaper story took place, or where the business or advertisement was located. At the end of the week, identify which towns did these Acadian names appear in? Did any of them surprise you? (English Language Arts: Process of Reading.)

websites for Further Research

http://www.acadian-cajun.com/arcadie.htm this site discusses life in France before the founding of Acadia.

http://www.acadian-cajun.com/origin.htm what part of France the Acadians come from? This site discusses the possible French origins of the Acadian settlers.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/6106/maps.html many maps regarding Acadia available for viewing, including a map of the regions/provinces of France.

http://www.acadian-cajun.com/genacad1.htm this site provides a list of Acadian names and genealogy.

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/acadian/english/eroots/eroots.htm in English

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/acadian/francais/froots/froots.htm en français Acadian names and spelling variations, information about the settlers and, where possible, areas of deportation.

http://etoile.acadie.net/nomacad.htm en français -une liste des noms acadiens et un peu de généologie.

http://www.umfk.maine.edu/archives/resource.htm – check this site for a more complete picture of people in the St. John Valley.