Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Word Of The Week


If you drive in France then you are sure to know this word. Especially this time of year. There are signs in certain places on the roads around here that read, "Risque de verglas."

Thankfully we're not having weather this bad.

I think that in English we call it "black ice." It can be treacherous, not only when driving, but also when walking. There's nothing like slipping and falling on your fesses to put a damper on your day.

This morning's low temperature was -6.2º here at the house, and there's fog outside. That's a formula for moisture to accumulate and freeze on the roads and bridges. I'm glad I was out doing my errands yesterday so that I can stay home today!

Image from:


  1. Here in Montreal, we had two snow storms already ( old man winter has not arrived yet!) within 2 weeks and since last Sunday we are under 110 cm of snow. We are still experiencing snow showers meaning that we are surrounded by the white stuff ( feels like -19 C presently though it's only -13C) and it is no fun being on the road.

    White Christmas this year :-)

  2. Reading both blogs - Ken's and Walt's - I feel so lucky to be in a place where I don't have to negotiate snow, ice, and cold weather. Here in Salton City the night temperature is in the 30°F and daytime is in the 60°F, and we are 10 degrees cooler than normal! However, there snow in the mountains over Palm Spring and we know it's winter!

  3. Biggest snowstorm in 60 years in Toronto. 65 cm of snow and still falling.Tall snowbanks everywhere. A high wind. I need a cane to cross the streets. Do I have to go out? No! but, at 78, I don't want to miss the fun!...Is global warming affecting just the Arctic?

  4. I had driven fearlessly through feet of snow in the PNW and never feared cold-weather driving of any sort. But last year an ice storm in Rodez gave me the verglas experience to end them all. It all finished up in a farmer's field a few kilometers from my house...a long and memorable story.

  5. beaver & claudia, I'm glad we're not having that kind of winter here. But it would be fun to have one little snowstorm. I should be careful what I wish for, eh?

    chm, rub it in!

    betty, that sounds pretty scary. The older I get, the less I enjoy being out on the roads.

  6. Our new car has some warning that beeps and announces risque du verglas. I mean when you hear the beep and read the dashboard, if you weren't worried about the verglas before you sure are now. I think it actually makes you anxious and a poorer driver. At first I didn't know what the beeping was and before I could read French I was afraid to take my eyes of the road for a split second to figure out what it was saying. It's strange because here in Toulouse the weather is not that cold. I think the verglas alarm goes off when the temp drops to a certain level, not really signifying a real risk. Anyway, we went to a friends farm in the Lot last weekend and there was frost everywhere, we didn't need the verglas warning because we saw ice everywhere.

  7. C'est un mot utile :D. Here we've been having a lot of verglas as well...where it's thin enough to just glisten a bit like water, but it actually pulls your feet out from under you or becomes frictionless enough that car tires spin uselessly without going anywhere...and with all of the oscillation around the freezing point, even seemingly innocent snow melts and is reincarnated as ice. Ick, it's not even Christmas and I've had more than enough of falling on my fesses for an entire winter :p.

  8. owen, I know what you mean. So many distractions inside the car make it hard to concentrate on what's going on outside the car!

    ranjani, it sure is a pain in the ***, if you know what I mean!!

  9. This is one of the words that I have to look for in my Robert &Collins every time. And I bet you that by tomorrow I will have forgotten that it says 'black ie'
    And for plaque de verglas, it says "icy patch of black ice"! For once, I find French more... économique ;)

    Claude Vieux, c'est mieux !!!


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