A baby aperitif anyone?

Some of you may remember the French menu translated into English that included salad of goat, greedy coffee and a stove of Saint Jacques. That menu was easy to giggle about — although perhaps the ‘rib steak of the butcher’ was not so funny for the butcher.

French translation into English of drinksNow, along comes a French drinks menu that’s a bit more alarming — and it hasn’t even been translated into English. Fellow ex-pat Aussie in France, Chris, sent me this.

He says:

This is from a little restaurant in Provence at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. I know the price is only €2 but I think I’ll have a whisky.

And I’m right there with him.

As far as I’m aware, the words for ‘baby’ and ‘foetus’ in French are roughly the same (‘bebe‘ and ‘foetus‘). Is there some French joke I’m really not getting or is this just really strange?


I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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8 comments on “A baby aperitif anyone?
  1. Jayne says:

    Haha, yes a whisky for me too! Maybe a local colloquial name? Our menu at work last week had ‘Fishes’ soup and ‘Skewered Shepherd’…. now I think the Fishes soup is quite clear but the Skewered Shepherd had us wondering…seems someone’s human rights had been violated…apparently it was lamb skewers…we even had a replacement colleague called ling-ling ping…you try keeping a straight face when you talk to someone with that name..

  2. Wendy says:

    Ouch, poor shepherd! Funny – I once worked with a Wai Ping (wiping) and a guy who had the same first name and surname (Ruvi Ruvi or something – loads of people reeled it off like it was just his first name). Languages eh…

  3. k_sam says:

    A “baby” is a half-serving of whiskey…no idea what a foetus is though – maybe a 1/4 serving??

  4. Wendy says:

    k_sam, I’m guessing that’s what it is! Kind of puts me off having one though (maybe that’s the point: get people to buy bigger, more expensive drinks by giving the small one weird names!).

  5. Emm says:

    You know, for some reason, I never knew you were Australian! I don’t know why I thought you were American. But now I finally read our “about me” and I also know you are a soon-to-be-famous author. Awesome!

  6. Marianne says:

    Oh la la… maybe the baby is served in a little bit cuter glass with an umbrella or something? Either way, I’m ordering mine “sans umbilical cord.”

  7. Andy Green says:

    Hi Wendy

    Yes I agree with k_sam a bébé is a 2cl drink but I have NEVER heard of a Foetus being 1 cl. Anyway who wants 1 cl of anything.

    On a similar topic whenever I fance a pint I ask for a serieux (SP??) and after some funny looks the barman says in his typical accent “Ah un Pinte”, yet if I ask for un pinte they say “ah un serieux”. Bloody confusing


  8. Wendy says:

    Andy, that sounds familiar (I get something similar when I ask for a Ricard Tomate – often end up with tomato juice despite saying ‘Ricard’ specifically!).

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by wendyhollands.com, my other site.

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