The Universe of Discourse

Sat, 15 Jan 2022


In French Canada, poutine is a dish of fried potatoes with cheese curds and brown gravy. But today I learned that in French, Vladimir Putin's name is Vladimir Poutine.

As described above: a white plate
with shoestring-shaped french fries, crumbles of white cheese curds,
and brown gravy. = Putin in 2018 is 66 years old but
looks much younger. He has a round face, a calm and thoughtful expression, and cold blue eyes.  His hair,
medium-brown and thinning, is gray only at the temples. He wears a
dark suit jacket, white shirt, and a dark red silk tie in a striking pattern.
Poutine  Putin

Wiktionary explains: in French, “Putin” would be pronounced /py.tɛ̃/, exactly like putain, which means “whore”. “Poutine” is silly, but at least comparatively inoffensive.

Mario Tremblay of Montréal gave in to temptation, and opened a poutine restaurant named “Vladimir Poutine". There was a poutine dish on the menu named “Vladimir Poutine”. In a sort of nod to borscht, it was topped with beet confit. The restaurant has since closed.

[ Other people who are accidentally foods ]

Left-hand poutine photograph by Joe Shlabotnik from Forest Hills, Queens, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Right-hand photograph also via Wikimedia Commons.

[ Addendum 20220116: Further musings on names with bad homophones ]

[ Addendum 20220307: a Paris restaurant, La Maison de la Poutine, defends itself against insults and threats from people confused about the meaning of poutine in the restaurant's name. Further reporting from Business Insider. ]

[ Addendum 20221030: Yet more names with bad homophones ]

[Other articles in category /lang] permanent link