Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Words (and other things resembling words) that warm my cockles: 4

(As a lover of words, phrases, lyrics, plays on words and so on, and someone seeking ways to better celebrate the little things, I’ve decided to develop a series dedicated especially to these linguistic trinkets.)

des rêves

The French word for dreams. This word caught my attention from the time I first learned it, probably grade 8.

Dream is one of those words that to me should be at least interesting, if not celebratory. But the word “dream” in English is pretty drab in my opinion. Maybe rêve is just as boring a word to the native french speaker but to my mind it much better captures the essence of something you can’t quite reach, something fun, something alluring and even a touch risqué. I wanted my first email address to be desreves@_ some 13 years ago, but that was taken. Sigh. Imagine how different my life could have been (if by different I mean the same).

I love that I can’t quite pronounce it, even though it looks so simple and innocent. I love the consonant-e-consonant-e pattern which is among the most simple in English, or so it seems to me. I love that it sounds like rev (to rev an engine) in English, but is much more interesting and conjures a sense of peace instead of a snotty cringe.

Mainly though, rêve makes me feel cheesy (as in I picture myself in wispy-haired scenes by water with long flowing skirts and a coquettish look) and comfortable with my own cheesiness (which, as I understand it, cannot be translated to fromagerie).

July 11, 2010 - Posted by | Words that warm


  1. Le Reve, the highly talked about show in Vegas that we caught was about a dream and it was the best way to describe the title to me… magical.

    Comment by Katie Chipman | July 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. Shows how knowledgeable about the French language I am… I had never heard of this term before your post. How Albertan of me. *shakes head in shame*

    Comment by Dana | July 19, 2010 | Reply

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