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marsouille

English translation: gudgeon

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02:57 Apr 6, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Cooking / Culinary / fish
French term or phrase: marsouille
A passage in a cookbook describing a feast in the south of France (specifically, the Camargue):

"L’ail est entier, il se croque, les croûtons dorés se noient dans le bouillon épais, le gruyère râpé file sous la cuillère, le torpilleur déborde de rascasses, de vives, de saint-pierre et de **marsouilles** (petits poissons avec de grosses…)."

I can't find any indication that a 'marsouille' is a type of fish, unless it's a variation on a 'marsouin' (porpoise) and it's a bit of a joke (assuming - hoping? - they don't eat porpoises in the Camargue).

The above is my best guess at the moment, but a spelling mistake isn't out of the question either.

Ringing any bells? Thanks in advance.
Melissa McMahon
Australia
Local time: 09:55
English translation:gudgeon
Explanation:
apparently the goujon or gudgeon is the only fish you can catch by stirring your feet about in the mud
What possibilities of marsouille being connected to mar-souille

"Marsouille. A Gudgeon" (Frank Muir)

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Note added at 8 hrs (2008-04-06 11:31:57 GMT)
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Melissa, as you know Frank Muir worked in tandem with Dennis Norden for some years on a programme called (was it?)" My Word"
He would stare out enigmatically from behind his toothbrush moustache and give a cod definition before concluding (for example) ""Mar-souille". A Gudgeon" Since" Mar" might be sea , and "souille" mud, it seems a good place to start. I don't know how edible they are. catfish?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2008-04-06 11:35:09 GMT)
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Melissa A vague reference under
ecole.marelle.org/boz/exposes/goujon
à quoi sert-il?

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Note added at 10 hrs (2008-04-06 13:25:39 GMT)
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Melissa! You started this! Marsouille is a word that must be
1) Very obscure 2)regional and 3)unknown outside of pop groups and blogs
I doubt if they are definable enough to be gudgeon but have connotation of pretty muddy things of little breeding.
Therefore; "lowly", "undistinguished" or, to be a little romantic and generous "unsung"Perhaps you can wait a bit for some deep southerner to finish his siesta?
Selected response from:

fourth
France
Local time: 01:55
Grading comment
Both fourth and bourth deserve Kudoz here. In the end I put: "marsouilles (little gudgeon fish with big … )", hopefully conveying some of the innuendo as well as saying roughly what kind of fish it is. Thanks very much both of you.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +3gudgeon
fourth
4Sparing your blushesxxxBourth


Discussion entries: 11





  

Answers


7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
gudgeon


Explanation:
apparently the goujon or gudgeon is the only fish you can catch by stirring your feet about in the mud
What possibilities of marsouille being connected to mar-souille

"Marsouille. A Gudgeon" (Frank Muir)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2008-04-06 11:31:57 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Melissa, as you know Frank Muir worked in tandem with Dennis Norden for some years on a programme called (was it?)" My Word"
He would stare out enigmatically from behind his toothbrush moustache and give a cod definition before concluding (for example) ""Mar-souille". A Gudgeon" Since" Mar" might be sea , and "souille" mud, it seems a good place to start. I don't know how edible they are. catfish?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2008-04-06 11:35:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Melissa A vague reference under
ecole.marelle.org/boz/exposes/goujon
à quoi sert-il?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2008-04-06 13:25:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Melissa! You started this! Marsouille is a word that must be
1) Very obscure 2)regional and 3)unknown outside of pop groups and blogs
I doubt if they are definable enough to be gudgeon but have connotation of pretty muddy things of little breeding.
Therefore; "lowly", "undistinguished" or, to be a little romantic and generous "unsung"Perhaps you can wait a bit for some deep southerner to finish his siesta?

fourth
France
Local time: 01:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15
Grading comment
Both fourth and bourth deserve Kudoz here. In the end I put: "marsouilles (little gudgeon fish with big … )", hopefully conveying some of the innuendo as well as saying roughly what kind of fish it is. Thanks very much both of you.
Notes to answerer
Asker: This sounds promising - can you tell me a bit more about the Frank Muir connection? ie the source?

Asker: ah yes, I saw that "Le goujon est le seul poisson que l'on peut pêche en remuant le fond avec les pieds: la marsouille." I wasn't sure whether marsouille was supposed to be another name for goujon though.

Asker: Thanks fourth, it's all sounding better than the porpoise! Knew the name Frank Muir and the program My Word - but not well. Nb. regarding nordiste's reservation, wiki does mention a saltwater-dwelling branch of the gudgeon family.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Melzie: that was the conclusion I came to but I didn't have Frank Muir to back me up so I let it go...
43 mins
  -> yes, Frank is the world's expert on Kentish gudgeons, but he's a bit worried about the "grosse quoi..." in case it's a suitcase

neutral  nordiste: Pb is, the recipe seems to refers to "bouillabaisse" which is made of sea fish, and goujons live in fresh water.
56 mins
  -> yes. but these were reintroduced in the camargue and it's that area's recipe try googling goujon Camargueand see Blackwell

agree  Irene McClure: This is the only sensible ref I could find to 'poisson' and 'marsouille' which seems to back up fourth and frank http://ecole.marelle.org/boz/boz/exposes/goujon.html and which I think is where your ref came from...doesn't seem to be much else to go on
1 hr
  -> Yes, I agree, can we find someone from the Camargue? Pity Frank's not here. He was from Ramsgate

agree  schevallier: anyhow, in this "bouillabaisse camarguaise", the goujons might very well come from the Rhône river via les Bouches-du-Rhône
1 hr
  -> Thanks Schevllier. Having asked friends in Provence they were stumped. It seems a very obscure term ,this marsouille
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Sparing your blushes


Explanation:
Without some form of evidence, I hardly suggested that the "..." was to spare your blushes, but when you have a mind like most Frenchmen, "de grosses ..." evokes only one thing, or more precisely, two things most commonly found suspended from the lower part of a male body.

However, the cheminement to reach and justify this conclusion is somewhat tortuous.

I started off wondering if French marines (marsouins, collectively and fondly referrred to as "la marsouille") were renowned for their small stature but genital fortitude. Nothing doing.

Par un hardi néologisme, marsouin à donné « marsouille », qui désigne l’ensemble de l’infanterie de marine : l’héroïque marsouille...
http://www.histoire-genealogie.com/spip.php?article1391

Attempting to establish a link, I Googled "petits poissons avec de grosses and found :

des MIRouilles= des petits poissons avec de grosses kouilles
http://forum.aufeminin.com/world/communaute/forum/forum2__fo...

From there:
Les bandes de MIROUILLES, minuscules OISEAUX (!!!) aux volumineuses couilles… Les matoutous et mygales, gigantesques araignées velues, venimeuses. ...
www.97320.com/France-5-en-Guyane_a2580.html

Mirouille" : tout petit poisson qui a une énorme paire de c..illes !
http://www.affection.org/forum/topic.asp?topic_id=8284

Quite how legitimate all this is I don't know, nor do I know what sort of fish this actually is, and I must admit I am not aware I have ever SEEN a fish's testicles, let alone be able to determine how large (or not) they are.

And then there's the change from "mir-" to "mars-", which may or may not be a deliberate ploy to bring in "arsouille", a scamp (not scampi), a scalawag (which in its other form, "scallywag", could be confused with "tallywag", bringing us back to genitals), a word some attribute to the English occupation of southern France during the 100 Years War and their reference to the French as "arseholes". Not to be confused with some French people's pronunciation of "households", but that is another story ...

So, whatever you call them - and "scallywag" is probably a good "cultural equivalent" (invented), you really need to keep the "with (two) big ...."

Ask any true-blue Australian bloke, he'll know what I mean ...

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Note added at 13 hrs (2008-04-06 16:46:17 GMT)
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Or "whopping great big" if you really want to drive it home, so to speak.

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Note added at 21 hrs (2008-04-07 00:41:28 GMT)
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One way or another, it appears to be a big joke - how serious is this recipe? - for we have any number of -ouille fish with big balls. If it were an English recipe, I might - having had enough to drink - see the joke, given that we have fish balls ... but in French?

grand concours de peche a la BREMOUILLE ( petit poisson avec des grosses couilles ) date du dit concours : evidemment le 1er avril 2008...
www.rugbyfederal.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1901981

qu'est ce qu'un "PITOUILLE" ? c'est un petit poisson avec de grosses couilles. ...
blogs.nofrag.com/killercool

meduses et des PITOUILLES (poisson maseillais à grosses couilles), ...
www.camptocamp.org/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=487083

qui est plus connu pour son travail sur l'origine et la reproduction des GRIBOUILLES (un tout petit poisson avec des grosses couilles). ...
lepamplemousse.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!3407A827ED1F50A1!270.entry

LIPOUILLE comme un petit poisson avec des grosses couilles ...
plp80.com/phpBB2/search.php?search_author=ludovic+80&sid=dd0dfb107fa6ee9c88be085966084cd5

la pêche à la BIDOUILLE, c'est la pêche du poisson avec des grosses couilles... www.miss34.com/index.php?feuille=lire&sujet_id=37013&Search...

définition de POISSOUILLE: poisson aux grosses couilles!!! ...
www.miss34.com/index.php?feuille=lire&sujet_id=33171&Search...

Are they suggesting that the penis, with its appendages, is a
big-balled fish? Not in MY soup, thank you!

xxxBourth
Local time: 01:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 88
Notes to answerer
Asker: You're right, I didn't spot the poissons/grosses disagreement and no question "c***lles" is the missing word. It's silly I didnt see it because one of the links that got me from marsouille to marsouin was (at http://rcmagvintage.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=175779): "Les "marsouilles", c'est bien ce que l'on pêche à l'ile MAURICE: des marsouins, mais avec des grosses c...lles :D :D :D?" Of course marsouins aren't 'petits poissons' (and it's a joke in a vintage car forum about someone's handle!), so encore un effort is needed, and the pistes of mirouille/arsouille are much appreciated!

Asker: Nb. the "big ..." could mean 'aggressive' or 'with a hectic reproductive schedule' rather than anatomical size, and these seem true of at least some gudgeons... I'm also starting to see 'cohones' in 'goujons' - just me?

Asker: It's not a recipe but a description of a meal: throughout the cookbook are little vignettes of different facets of French gastronomy - restaurateurs, farmers, charcutiers, foodie friends etc, and this is a little sketch of a feast at an isolated establishment in the Camargue. Which relieves the pressure somewhat and accounts for the tone, though the author is certainly a 'head to tail' kinda guy.

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Changes made by editors
May 24, 2008 - Changes made by PB Trans:
Field (specific)Food & Drink » Cooking / Culinary


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