Poireauter

Today’s word is poireauter: “to wait for a long time”. It is derived from poireau (“leek”). I searched the origin of this word, because the relationship between leeks and waiting is not obvious, and I discovered the expression faire le poireau (“to act like a leek”), which has the same meaning: standing and doing nothing, just like a leek can’t do anything but stand without moving.

Poireaux (leeks) doing what leeks usually do: nothing. (Wikimedia Commons)
Poireaux (leeks) doing what leeks usually do: nothing. (Wikimedia Commons)

T’étais passé où ? Ça fait une demi-heure que je poireaute !
Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for half an hour!

Elle m’a fait poireauter une heure devant le cinéma.
She made me wait for one hour in front of the cinema.

Note that unlike attendre, poireauter cannot take an object. You can say je t’attends (“I am waiting for you”), but je te poireaute is not possible.

Listen to the examples:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *