Wanted: French Lesson

grue de cacao

In my never-ending quest to improve my French, I had some friends over for dinner last night and was asking them what the word ‘grue‘ meant.

After consulting le dictionnaire français (aka: mon ma bible), the only definition we came across was that a grue was a ‘crane’—as in the long-limbed bird.

Curiously, it’s sometimes used a slang for a ‘working woman’, if you know what I mean. Or one who is ‘facile‘.

So how does any of that relate to ground up cocoa beans?


  • euhm, ‘grué’ (with accent aigu) refers to cocoa beans and ‘grue’ (without accent) is what you looked for in the dictionnary… ;-)

  • “Grué”
    Feves de cacao sechees, degermees, decortiquees et concassees grossierement.
    Il existe 2 types de grué: le grué vert non grille et le grué torrfie, grille.

  • ps: oh, and it’s ‘ma bible’… :-P

  • Oops!

    Well, grué isn’t in my dictionnaire normal but I’ll add that to my dictionnaire culinaire.

    btw: Here’s an interesting description of the accent aigue. Since symbols need to be HTML’d, unless you type in the html for the symbols, it looks like mixed-up symbols on my blog. (Apologies to French readers, and merci for the corrections and advice.)

    Now if someone could just tell me how to fix that in Movable Type!…

  • Darn those all caps!!

  • And here I thought maybe this cacao was so good you’be be willing to sell your body for it!

  • I’m French and I’ve just learned a new word. Thank you all! (Sigrid, I think that grué is not in many dictionaries. It’s not in “Le Petit Robert” for a start.)

  • Véronique: Well, it’s not in my Robert Pratique either, which boasts 120,000 traductions.

    I say we storm the Académie Française first thing monday morning—en masse!

  • You reminded me of when I was telling a neighbor, newly from Japan, that certain parts of the city had hookers. Her English / Japanese dictionary told her that there were trawling ships in downtown Seattle.

  • David, you can write accents even in html using these codes…here


  • I’ve been where those cocoa beans are grown, its about an hour drive from my house :D

  • Thanks for the lesson I’ve learnt 2 words today. I remember in Spain a friend of mine confusing pato (duck) with puta(whore) causing much consternation in a restaurant we frequented.

  • Gideon: I’m not sure I understand—which of the two were you trying to order??

    dodo: Lucky you! Those are great beans.

    Sigrid: Believe it or not, I dream in html. (I know it that well!)

    But thanks for the link for readers who wish to comment using accents and the like.

    Lynn: hmmm…I wonder why so many words ‘sound’ like words for ‘working women’ in so many different languages?
    I guess no one’s immune to the effects of globalization
    : )

  • LOL! Just wanted to comment that this section of comments greatly amused me! Thanks for the wit and the laughs! :)