quick! quick! Native French speakers — name that tavern

Still proofreading Queen of Swords, here. By tomorrow I have to come up with the names for three taverns (in the early 19th century sense) in New Orleans. One real tavern was called “The Suckling Pig” but the other two I’m having fits about.

So this is what I need: (1) How to say “The Suckling Pig” in French. (2) Two pub/tavern names in the same vein. Examples: The Three-Legged Dog, the Swan, Bucket of Blood, etc etc.

Those of you with lots of French instruction and a dictionary? Please don’t suggest anything unless it’s the name of a place you absolutely know exists.

Now, the truth is that I can fake this if I have to (in fact, I did fake it, but now in proofreading I find I’m not comfortable with that), but I’d appreciate help getting closer to realistic. If you come up with a name I use, I’ll put you in the acknowledgements.

Ready – set – go.

13 Replies to “quick! quick! Native French speakers — name that tavern”

  1. I’ll ask a friend on mine that has family who are from N.O. as far back as that time. See if he knows anything interesting.

  2. Suckling pig = Le Porcelet or Le Cochon de lait

    I’m not coming up with a lot of French pub/tavern names, but there is a tavern here in Ottawa called the Château Lafayette. We do have a place called The Fox and Feather (which you could translate as Le Renard et la plume). There is also The Arrow and the Loon (La Flèche et le plongeon). I think there is also a place in Hamilton called The Snooty Fox (I’d say Le Renard hautain). They have a Web site: http://www.snootyfox.com

    I’ll keep looking to see what’s on the Quebec side.

  3. Okay, so I Googled the term “french tavern” “new orleans” “19th century,” and came up with this site, that’s a Sociey for Creative Anachronism, albeit from an earlier time period. They have a tavern called “Le Poulet Gauche,” and this is what they said about the name:

    And just what does “Poulet Gauche” mean?
    Many people have asked us how the Poulet Gauche got its name. Our first appearance was at a fencing contest, which has something to do with it. There are many tales, all purporting to be the “true” story. The name is a pun on “main gauche”, the left-handed parrying dagger carried by swordsmen. The rest is up to you…

    It’s an idea. I’ll keep peeking round…

  4. Hahaha… Also looking at a French slang dictionary, I came across this phrase (don’t think it will work for 19c, but I think it’s funny). A term for being drunk: dans les vignes du Seigneur (“in the vines of the Lord”). Quite the euphemism…

  5. Ah. Didn’t realize that you were looking for actual, existing taverns. I should have read more carefully.

    The tavern’s you’ve put in the earlier books, were they all real places? That’s kind of exciting!

  6. Well now, I can’t say as I’ve ever heard the term suckling pig in French before. My best guesstimate would be Le Porcelet Nourrisson… Le Porcelet by itself means the Piglet, cochon is an adult pig.

    I’ve always liked how some of the nastiest taverns have the most innocent sounding names, the contrast has always greatly amused me. None of these are real places but I’d suggest these as possible names for fictious 19th century taverns:

    -Le Coeur Brise
    -La Jolie Fille
    -La Belle Reve
    -Au Diable Roux
    -Le Vieux Moulin

  7. The term “shoat” is an old English word for a suckling pig, I’m nearly certain Le Shote is the old French translation.

    Good luck!

  8. Cochon de lait is French for suckling pig, and I think it survived in the Acadian. Again, not so sure about New Orleans/Louisiana, but in France, lots of taverns/restaurants are traditionally called “Au/A” and I guess because of this, “Au Cochon de Lait” sounded better to my ears. So I googled this and it’s the name of a restaurant in Paris, as well as one in Strasbourg (handily located in Place Marché aux Cochons de Lait.)

    PS. Still haven’t read your book on language… It’s on my TBR list, so I promise one day I will get to it, but other stuff keeps leaping ahead ‘cos of pesky essays and such.

  9. Evil Auntie: I didn’t know you stopped by here. I always enjoy your comments over at Smart Bitches.

    Thanks for the suckling pig info, and I hope you’ll let me know what you think of the non-fiction me.

  10. Hello,
    In Ottawa, Ontario, there is a pub called “The Coq and Bull”. Which would translate into something like: ” Le Coq et le Taureau.”
    Hope this helps.

  11. I’m one of your legions of adoring lurkers, so thank you and you’re welcome. Hope the info is at least a useful starting point.

    *back to lurking and wading through the reading pile*

  12. Oh… Just reread and realised that you didn’t require the names of genuine 19th-century taverns in New Orleans.

    So, with a France bias again (never ever been to Louisiana), and probably too late too, a couple of my favorite names of bars in an old stylee are “Aux 12 Apôtres” or “The Twelve Apostles” (Strasbourg) which is nicely evocative of the Catholic influence in French culture, and “Les Bons Enfants” (The Good Children) near the Somme (although that’s really a restaurant).

    They’re more fun than the usual “(La) Taverne de [insert name of proprietor, town or road here]”, or “L’Estaminet” (which is just a Belgian/N. French term for a bar or cafe).

    *now really back to lurking*

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