dimanche 29 juillet 2012

The French word "pince"

Since talking to French and Swiss people, I've discovered that the word 'pince' (pronounced something like "panse") has a multitude of uses!! Whereas in English we have separate words for all these objects.. the French word 'pince' (feminine) can be used for all of them, usually with a descriptive added to the end.

I had heard of most of these by now (but not all!) that I got from WordReference, my daily French-English language 'bible'

pince = tongs
pince = clamps
~ de crabe = claws (crab)
~ à linge = clothes peg
~ à épiler = tweezers
~ à échardes = tweezers (specifically for removing splinters, surgical/medical tool)
~ à ongles = nail clippers
~ à cheveux = hair clip / bobby pin
~ de séparation = hair clip/pin (hairdressing term)
~ à cravate = tie clip
~ crocodile = crocodile clip
~ à dessin = bulldog clip (see pic above)
~ d'électricien = pliers
~ de plombier = pliers
~ multiprise = adjustable pliers
~ universelle = universal pliers
~ demi-ronde = needle nose pliers
~ à ergot = special pliers
~ à décoffrer = crowbar
~ coupante = wire cutters
~ à glaçons = ice tongs 
~ à sucre = sugar tongs 
~ à escargot = snail tongs
~ à vélo = bicycle clip

So, to summarize, a pince can be anything from: pegs, to clips, to pins, to tongs, to tweezers, to pliers, to clamps, to cutters, and to (crab) claws! Basically anything with two 'prongs' and a pinching action! Afterall, the French verb for to pinch is pincer! Get it?

So there you go!

  (image from http://www.currys.com)

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