When I was expecting our first child I automatically started thinking of names, who doesn't? The list was short but defined. I knew the names I liked, and assumed my French Husband would not object. I was about six weeks pregnant when I mentioned some of the ones I liked. (See the names he liked here: my list of names...)...
"You know Yann, I like the name Ella for a girl..." but before I could end my sentence I noticed a horrific look spreading across French Husband's face. I looked around the room thinking something awful must be happening somewhere, somehow to provoke such a response.
"What? What's wrong?" I questioned while looking around the room.
"Ella? Elle a! You do know what 'Elle a' means don't you? You know, 'She has' in French? You do know that? How can we name our baby, 'She-Has'? Can you imagine what it would be like to be named: "She Has"?"
"Ella Fitzgerald," is what I offered, thinking it would trigger an AH HA response, but no. So I asked, "She has what? What do you mean she has?"
Well to say the least Ella was tossed aside. France scored another "BOO" point in my book of Boo Points for France.
Confused, but not bothered, I went on with my list of names... and I suppose somewhere in my childhood I must have learned French and confused it with first names. Because every name I mentioned was a French word.
"Rue?" I offered.
"Rue! Rue is a street." He replied, "You are making a joke, no?"
"No not really. I mean not a joke, but a name. Oh yeah, I see, but still?" I contemplated for less than a second, "It makes for a good name though? Think about it: Rue? How about: Beau?" I added hopefully, only to see my French Husband close his eyes... "Beautiful?" he said.
"Oh, you like it!?" I was thrilled. But thrilled lasted two seconds.
"No. Beau means beautiful." he shook his head as if I had said poop or something disgusting like that.
I giggled, "Belle, means beautiful."
I can still see him looking at me in disbelief.
"What about Savon?"
"Are you doing this on porpoise?"
"You mean on PURPOSE? No I am not, really, truly I am not."
"You know, Savon is soap in French?"
He got up and mumbled something under his breath.
Hence, I spoke French without even knowing I was.