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Ça douille sévère

Does anyone know the meaning of the phrase "ça douille sévère"? I first encountered it translating the last sentence of "Très chère bête électrique" ( http://duolingo.com/#/translation/e797e2568658e1ebc8d16640084dc9ac ). After numerous Google queries, I have come to the conclusion that it is quite a popular expression, and that it is somehow related to something being really expensive, but I cannot seem to find an English translation that makes any sense. Can someone shed some light on this?

August 18, 2012



I've never heard this phrase before, but here's the Larousse definition of "douiller" with some examples for "ça douille": http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/douiller Idiomatic expressions like this don't really have exact translations, so just do your best?


Another related sense of "douiller" is to be very painful. "...L'épilation ? Je douille." http://www.viedemerde.fr/


Verb "douiller" means "payer cher". My dictionary gives the following translations for "ça douille": "it's damn expensive" or "it's damn pricy".


@Mizotte - or is she just "paying a high price" for allowing her b/f to carry out his "fantasy"?


According to Wiktionary, it's Argot for "to pay", or it could mean "to have trouble" and probably comes from "douloir" - to wail or grieve.


I should've known that an idiom would be behind all this! I guess there's no direct translation, but thanks for the help! They're way better than my previous translation: "this severe socket"!


Mizotte's comment made me think of the English word dolourous and thence dolour - 'grief or suffering'. Cognate to the modern Fr. noun douleur and cognate again, perhaps, to this verb douiller.

The wiktionary entry for dolour is pretty good, showing the derivation from Anglo-Norman and has this lovely quote:

But for all this thou shalt have as many dolours for thy daughters as thou canst tell in a year. — William Shakespeare, King Lear II.ii


CNRTL doesn't know the origin of "douiller", other than to speculate that it comes from "guindouille", an equally obsure word meaning "sou" (a small coin, "brass farthing", etc.). Interesting to note that "douloureuse" (Mizotte's and OskaLingo's pain / grief connection again) means the Eng. bill / US check in a restaurant, or a bill received through the post. Also, that a "richard" in French is a "moneybags" (from riche), and not Cockney rhyming slang for a .... (well, you can research that one for yourselves!).


to sum it up, "douiller" may mean "to suffer" (re. Mizotte) or "to cost a lot" (re. 2km). No doubt both are related at some point: it it costs a lot, you may also suffer a lot...

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