Spanish and French words for pussy

James E. Clapp jeclapp at WANS.NET
Fri Jun 25 06:10:17 UTC 1999

Natalie Maynor wrote:
> I think your impression is correct. My understanding is that [baiser] can be
> used transitively with an object like "main" (hand) but that intransitively
> it always means "fuck."  The usual way to say "kiss" (the verb) is
> "embrasser," I think.  Or you could say "donner un baiser" (give a kiss)
> -- the noun is always ok, as far as I know.

> The advice I've always heard is that foreigners should just forget
> the verb "baiser" entirely and be careful to make the middle of "baisser"
> (to lower) clearly unvoiced.  (This advice assumes, of course, that the
> the foreigner wants to say "kiss" or "lower" -- maybe some foreigners
> have occasion to want to say something like "Il l'a baise'.")

I take it from your final example that if the object of "baiser" as a
transitive verb is a body part (or perhaps the ground or a trophy?) then baiser
means "kiss"; but if the object is an entire person, then it means "fuck."
This seems clear enough, but I think I won't test the distinction by inviting a
French truck driver who has offended my sense of driving etiquette to kiss my

James E. Clapp

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