France vs. Quebec: toutou

July 8, 2015


Here's a logo from Quebec that is bound to confuse a reader from France. Why? Because it shows the wrong animal! The word toutou in France means "puppy dog." For example, the French news magazine L'Express reported on a new "dog wash" (similar to a "car wash")  in France: Fini, les poils de chien dans la baignoire. Les toutous ont désormais leur station de lavage en libre-service.


This passage would presumably strike a French Canadian as strange, because as the Quebec logo clearly shows, in Canadian French toutou doesn't mean "dog" but "teddy bear." So the logo above is from the French Canadian website of the Plush Factory (similar to the Build-a-Bear workshops throughout the United States). This is a good example of a faux ami between French in France and French in Quebec.


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