The Word on the Street Is . . . Fire

While sauntering past a Montreal bar, you may be approached by a tall, dark stranger who asks “Do you have fire?” This is not a Homo erectus come on, nor is it time to jabber on about your fiery tango classes. They couldn’t care less about what makes you burn with passion.

So what, exactly, are they going on about? Before you get full fru, take a second to read the cues. Observe the unlit cigarette dangling from their lips. Stop thinking like an Anglophone and think back to what little French you learned in high school. Now, put two and two together.

“Do you have fire?” is simply Frenglish for “As-tu du feu?” A more accurate translation would be “Do you have a light?” but it just wouldn’t be Montreal-speak without a little French thrown in there, now would it!

So give the nicotine-deprived smoker a light and carry on your merry way. If you’re looking for conversation, you’re best to head inside and order a drink.

Do you absentmindedly slip French words into your English? Share your stories with us!


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4428 Saint-Laurent, suite 300
Montreal, QC, H2W 1Z5, Canada

Phone: 514 286-2809 or 1-888-342-2222

Fax: 514 284-9152


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