Tag Archives: poor thing

Cajun French: Pauvre Bête

Time for another Cajun French lesson. Again, I have to thank my sister-in-law and one of my college friends for helping me out this week.

On Sunday, my sister-in-law popped up with another “good phrase” for my Cajun French lessons. You see, these lessons are a group effort, especially now that I’m running out of the most common phrases to share with y’all.

Today’s phrase is pauvre bête which means “poor thing”. Pauvre is pronounced “pauv” (pau like in Paul and an almost F sound on the end) which means poor. Bête is pronounced “bedt” (with a very soft T) which means…well, it’s almost like saying silly thing. When you put them together, the words kind of run together so it sounds like “pauf-bedt” almost like one word.

This phrase can be used in two ways: sympathetically or sarcastically.

Someone catches a flat tire in the rain when they’re on their way to a job interview? Oh, pauvre bête!

Someone complains about how they have so much time on their hands because they won the lottery?
Pauvre bête! (Insert eye roll)

You can also add to this by using the infamous petite, or t’, as we shorten it down here.

Pauvre t-bête!  Poor little thing!

Do you think you’ll be using this phrase? And what about that little puppy! Doesn’t he just make you want to say pauvre t-bête?

10 Comments

Filed under humor