Okay, I know this is just an unfortunate translation, but it made me giggle, wondering exactly what lads’ services the occupants of this car were offering. For non-Brits, ‘lads’ is a bit of a stereotype of those guys you see on bucks nights/stag nights/bachelor parties doing things that only they find amusing. Thankfully, La Clusaz isn’t a lad hotspot, and I’ve no idea where the name for this business came from. The services offered actually include rental property management, cleaning and taxi service.
In the same vein, French speakers can snicker when they go to England and see the restaurant chain Zizzi because in French a ‘zizi‘ is a little boy’s term for their private parts. That’s right: Brits are eating in a restaurant that roughly translates to ‘willy‘.
Of course, there are plenty in English alone, with my fellow Australians calling those things you wear on your feet ‘thongs’ (which in Britain is a skimpy type of underwear, while the footwear is called a ‘flip-flop’), and the things you wear in winter to keep your legs warm ‘pants’ (which the Brits call ‘trousers’ because ‘pants’ are, again, underwear).
Getting back to French language surprises, an American friend went into a French lingerie shop and said she needed ‘a slip’. In English, that would mean a skirt-like type of underwear. She soon discovered that it’s French for ‘underpants’, and she can only hope that the shopkeeper didn’t think she needed a pair that urgently. Have you stumbled across similar mix-ups?