How did the farmer come up with this name?

<Picture of the signpost for the Milk et Bouse farm in St Jean de Sixt, France.>
Pictured is a signpost for a farm in St Jean de Sixt called “Milk et Bouse”. Okay, the “Milk” part is in English, but the rest is French. What do you imagine the French part means? “Et” is simply “and”, but before I tell you the rest, let’s consider the options.

The sign shows a smiling cow, and her name is probably Margeurite — the French equivalent of Daisy the cow in Engish. But the sign doesn’t say “Milk et Margeurite”.

There are some yellow flowers being eaten by Margeurite, but I don’t know of any flowers called “Bouse” so we can rule them out too.

Of course, in English, “booze” (how “Bouse” is pronounced by the French) is an alternative word for alcohol. A farm called “Milk and Booze” would be alright: fresh creamy cocktails anyone? But bouse is not booze is so hold that thought.

Bouse” is cow effluent.

The farm is pretty much called “Milk and poo”. Appetizing hey?

You might be more familiar with it in its liquid spray form: it’s that smell in the fields just before the first snow falls late in the year, and just after it’s all melted away each spring. Trucks spray the bouse in the pastures, turning them from green to brown and stinky for days.

So, milk and bouse cocktail anyone? You can have mine.

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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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6 comments on “How did the farmer come up with this name?
  1. Ceri says:

    Love the sign 🙂 Milk and Manure would have had a nicer ring to it, don’t you think? But the Frenchies would never have understood!!

  2. Wendy says:

    Well the alliteration certainly works, Ceri. I think I’d prefer something like “Milk and Moos” and skirt around the whole poo business!

  3. WTFH says:

    I went to that farm once. His cocktails tasted like merde

  4. Tom Long says:

    A French friend of mine had innumerable words for booze but his favourite was “binch” presumably from the English pastime: to binge.

  5. Herb says:

    I totally understand; these are the two products of a dairy farm. Think — truth in advertising.

  6. Wendy says:

    WTFH – hah! Indeed. Tom, I do love the French accent on some English words, especially “sheep” vs “ship”. Herb, that makes me appreciate dodgy marketing so much more. 🙂

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced professional writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Read more...

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