The best French word to experience


Some words are fun to say like plump or flangeOthers are better appreciated in written form like pteradactyl and deified (you really shouldn’t read past this point until you know why deified is a good in written form).

But most words get even better when they’re experienced. They go beyond a combination of sounds or letters and they become a memory. They start to mean something specific to you.

The best French word to experience is surely Renaissance.

Because if you haven’t experienced it, you hear it and think of stuff like this:


‘Would have been better if it was a photograph.’ Is what I say about almost every painting I see.

Or you might even picture this:


Why is he naked? Because it’s art – that’s why.

But you’re missing the point. Literally, Renaissance means something more like rebirth –  a fresh start, a revival.

For instance, I’ve had a bit of a renaissance with my lunches at the minute. I have one almost every six weeks where I decide to change my food of choice.

This week I’ve moved from bagels to ciabattas. I’ve also changed the filling and I’m telling you – the view is fine up here in ciabatta city.

And it got me thinking that maybe I need more renaissance in my life. Sometimes we wish we had a fresh start in life. Just to wipe out all of our mistakes and do things differently.

Maybe you would have spent more time with your family or thought a bit more before you said that stupid thing. Regrets can add up pretty quickly.

But there are new beginnings all over the place as well – I can see them. They’re not the perfect ones we dream of but things like new days, new jobs, new bosses, maybe even new underwear – they’re all little renaissance opportunities.

This weekend we decided to shop at Morrisons instead of Sainsburies and now I’m eating Ciabattas and feeling top dollar about my lunch breaks. (I love how trivial my central example is today.)

I think one of the worst consequences of our mistakes is the guilt or the fear or the shame that they leave with us.

So maybe next time you hit one of those Renaissance opportunities, you could put some of that stuff behind you. Just drop a bit of it.

Life changes a lot – so rebirths are probably more common than we imagine. Maybe soon I’ll shop at Asda and start eating cheese scones or something. Or maybe I’ll use this thinking to do something more worthwhile. Either way I’m happy.

I love the word Renaissance but only when it’s lived instead of spoken.

Because all that old art is dull to me – or at least the bits I’ve seen. I don’t want to see a naked King David carved out of stone – I want to see you eating a baguette next week because you’ve just had a mini lunchtime rebirth.

That’s what I need.