The Normand hole and a kick in the ass – some more occasional drinking terms

In the spirit of yesterday’s deoc an doruis and by happy coincidence here are a few other terms of drinking interest I ran across today in a collection of Guy de Maupassant stories, Contes de la Becasse:

From Farce Normande:

Between each course everyone made a hole – the Normand hole – with a glass of (apple) brandy which flung fire in the body and madness in the mind.

Entre chaque plat on faisait un trou, le trou normand, avec un verre d’eau-de-vie qui jetait du feu dans le corps et de la folie dans les têtes.

I’m honestly at a loss on how to put this in English since the relevant phrase – le trou normand – is literally just ‘the Normand hole’.  It refers to a drink taken between courses in the hope of facilitating digestion/dulling the senses just enough that you can keep going for the next.  Eau-de-vie in the Normand context has to be apple brandy (Calvados)

From Les Sabots:

She went to find a cup, sat down again, tasted the black liquor [coffee], made a grimace, but, under the master’s furious eye, drank it down to the bottom.  Then they had to drink the first glass of (apple) brandy for the rinse, the second for the followup-rinse, and the third for a kick in the ass.

Elle alla chercher une tasse, se rassit, goûta la noire liqueur, fit la grimace, mais, sous l’œil furieux du maître, avala jusqu’au bout.Puis il lui fallut boire le premier verre d’eau-de-vie de la rincette, le second du pousse-rincette, et le troisième du coup-de-pied-au-cul.

Rincette is defined as the ‘little bit of liqueur poured in a cup after drinking coffee’

Pousse-rincette is, here, simply the followup to the first rinse.  The term seems more generally a synonym for the rincette – it is closer to the contemporary pousse-café.

Coup-de-pied-au-cul is literally ‘a kick in the ass.’  I can’t tell if this is a witticism of Maupassant’s or a legitimate Normand phrase now lost to use.





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