“Why do French Women Gasp When They Say Oui”

Alright so this just falls extraordinarily well! Someone searched for the phrase “why do french women gasp when they say oui” on my blog today and fell across a post that I made three years ago observing this behavior. On July 18 2010 i wrote:

“French women all speak with this gaspy breath thing in their voice. They gasp and then they say “oui” I don’t understand it and they ALL do it, even on TV. What is with that?”

It just so happens that this subject has come up quite a few times in the last few weeks. In fact, this came up in conversation last night at a crémaillière (housewarming) of my dear friend Anita: the way that french women say ‘oui” on an inhale and how profoundly annoying EVERYONE finds this to be.

Apparently this began amongst bourgeois women as a certain trend to be somewhat hush-hush perhaps when talking down on the dastardly behaviors of the “les moyens” and it quickly caught on as a way to mock the hoity-toity. However in recent times (and maybe because it was abused in a comic way) this practice has seeped into a younger demographic.

Mostly still practiced by women every now and then I will run across a young male who will say “oui” in this very exasperated way to my great displeasure.

This is such a ridiculous thing to do because basically you just sound like an idiot or like you’ve accidentally inhaled a bug. But also this is the ONLY word that you can say like this!!!!! Nothing else! IN any case there is just NO reason for it. So to all you students out there learning french in Paris DO NOT pick up this ear-grinding habit.

This annoying practice is reviewed by Norman: a french guy who does this popular form of comic video blog alone in his apartment. He also looks over a few more of our everyday expressions in French that make little to no sence. Skip to 1:13 for the explanation.


A quick thank you to my awesome fella who showed me this ever so useful video.

In short(BREF): What is this trend? No clue! Just an obnoxious sign of the times that is sure to be made fun of for years to come.

A+ EmilieinParis

Questions? Didn’t find what you are looking for? Email me at bloggerparis@gmail.com and tell me what you want to read about.

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About Emilie

I'm a small girl with big ambitions and very little common sense it seems. I decided after I graduated from college that I would move from my little city of Lafayette Louisiana to the raging monster city that is Paris. In 4 months of planning I have now uprooted everything I had in an amazing town to live in a truly wild place where I have no idea WHAT I am going to do. But isn't that the fun of it all. So here is cheers to getting lost, breaking hearts, starving, and many wonderful adventures that come along with finding yourself.
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