Now in its second edition, The Routledge Dictionary of Cultural References in Modern French reveals the hidden cultural dimension of contemporary French, as used in the press, going beyond the limited and purely lexical approach of traditional bilingual dictionaries.

Even foreign learners of French who possess a good level of French often have difficulty in fully understanding French articles, not because of any linguistic shortcomings on their part but because of their inadequate knowledge of the cultural references. This cultural dictionary of French provides the reader with clear and concise explanations of the crucial cultural dimension behind the most frequently used words and phrases found in the contemporary French press. This vital background information, gathered here in this innovative and entertaining dictionary, will allow readers to go beyond a superficial understanding of the French press and the French language in general to see the hidden yet implied cultural significance that is so transparent to the native speaker.

This fully revised second edition includes:

  • a broad range of cultural references from the historical and literary to the popular and classical;
  • an enhanced analysis of punning mechanisms used in the press;
  • over 3,000 cultural references explained with updated examples;
  • a three-level indicator of frequency;
  • new and expanded chapters on the French of Quebec, institutional and academic references, and English borrowings in the areas of IT and medical science;
  • over 600 online questions to test knowledge before and after reading.

The Routledge Dictionary of Cultural References in Modern French is the ideal reference for all undergraduate and postgraduate students of French seeking to enhance their understanding of the French language. It will also be of interest to teachers, translators and Francophiles alike. French students in khâgne, Sciences-Po and schools of journalism will also find this book valuable and relevant for their studies.

Test questions and solutions are available at www.routledge.com/9780367376758, in addition to three online chapters. These bonus chapters explore figurative expressions involving the names of animals, the language of the law and slang terms.

chapter |2 pages

Introduction to the first edition

chapter |4 pages

Introduction to the second edition

chapter Chapter 1|69 pages

Popular cultural references

chapter Chapter 2|43 pages

Famous words

chapter Chapter 3|57 pages

Figurative expressions

chapter Chapter 4|23 pages

Headline punning

chapter Chapter 5|72 pages

Literary references

chapter Chapter 6|44 pages

Historical references

chapter Chapter 7|38 pages

Mythological and classical references

chapter Chapter 8|41 pages

Biblical references

chapter Chapter 9|20 pages

Institutional and academic references

chapter Chapter 10|22 pages


chapter Chapter 11|23 pages

The skeletons in Marianne’s cupboard

chapter Chapter 12|31 pages

Metonymy and periphrasis

chapter Chapter 13|67 pages

Foreign words and expressions

chapter Chapter 14|32 pages

Acronyms and abbreviations

chapter Chapter 15|19 pages

Chez les Hurons et les Mohawks