‘Cours de vocabulaire’

‘Avaler,’ she said, looking up at the class, ‘to swallow. Giving us avalanche, being swallowed up by snow. Not really, but isn’t it a charming image? Not if you’re on the side of the mountain, that’s for sure. A val, going down, down the valley, down the river perhaps. Merrily merrily, gently down the stream. Un bateau avalant, allant vers l’aval. But if you invite your girlfriend on board and she’s an avaleuse, then boy, you’re in trouble. She’d ‘ave her pique of your nique, and you, you would go hungry! And that reminds me, if you miss out letters when you talk, like if you say ‘ave or ‘ouse or ‘omework, you don’t drop them like in English, tu les avalent, you swallow them. Nice, that, instead of brushing them away, you keep them inside you, all for yourself. And as for swallows, well, that’s another question entirely, one to which we shall certainly return – en aval – at a later date. Bon, on continue?’