All These Little French and American Words…




Welcome to the last day of the A to Z Challenge!

Today two words for the letter Z

*one English verb and noun with two common meanings in the USA and in France, but also additionnal meanings whether it’s used in the USA or in France.

As a bonus to celebrate the end of the challenge:

*one French interjection, a favorite of my mother who never swears, that triggered the title for a song and an album from a famous American musician.



As a verb and a noun Zap has countless meanings in the USA.

The French say Zapper for Zap and use it also to describe channel-hopping and the act of cutting the commercials.

By extension they created the words Zappeur and Zappeuse for the people who channel-hop.

Zap is also used in France to depict people switching from one idea to another or the act of completely forgetting something.

For example:

‘J’ai complètement zappé cette histoire’ would be literally translated by ‘I totally zapped this story.


En tant que verbe et nom, Zap a énormément de définitions aux USA. Tout comme en France, le verbe est utilisé pour sauter d’une chaine de télé à une autre et pour couper les pubs.

Mais zap est aussi utilisé dans d’autres contextes.

Quelques exemples :

1- quand une vague de froid tardive zap les fleurs printanières.

2- quand on zap un plat au micro ondes.

3- quand dans un film les aliens zap les occupants d’un vaisseau spatial.

4- pour imiter le son zap d’une arme à laser.

5- quand une douleur zap une partie du corps (douleur fulgurante).

6- quand dans un film un personnage zap du présent au futur par l’intermediaire d’une machine fictive.

7- quand une mauvaise note zap la chance d’un élève de réussir son examen (tuer la chance).

Par contre zap n’est pas utilisé avec la notion de passer d’une idée à l’autre ni avec celle d’oublier une histoire.


Embed from Getty Images





Zoot Allures by Frank Zappa is a pun on the popular French interjection Zut Alors, an interjection that my maman uses whenever she feels the urge to say a bad word but doesn’t want to. Zut can also be used.

Zut Alors or Zut is to the French what Shoot is to the Americans.

Embed from Getty Images



This concludes the A to Z Challenge that I, among hundreds, started on April 1.

Thank you so much, everyone, for your support as I traveled along the bumpy road of our alphabet.

A particular thank you to the readers who have added words for some specific letters and even suggested some that I’ve been gladly using.

Merci pour votre support, vos suggestions, vos commentaires, et vos ‘like.’

Have a great weekend. See you later, here or on your blog.

Bon weekend à toutes et à tous et à plus tard, ici ou sur vos blogs.







  1. Ha – I am a Zappeur – absolutely.

    This has been a great series, Evelyne. Congratulations on making it to the end. You did a fine job!

  2. Fascinating, Evelyne. You ended up on such a powerful note. Congratulations on completing the series! It’s been a joy to journey with you.

  3. Thanks for your wonderful words over the last month. I enjoyed learning about their meaning in English and in French!

  4. Ah ! Tout ça fut fort intéressant, chère Evelyne ! Merci de nous aider à comprendre ces subtilités de langage, et à bientôt pour d’autres exercices ! 😉

    • Merci, Simone. Tes liens m’ont bien été utiles. Même si il y avait pas toujours un mot par lettre. À plus tard pour autres aventures au pays des mots.

  5. We use “zap” to mean cutting the commercials, too 🙂

  6. Sisyphus47 says:

    Il me faut bien admettre: “zapper” est bien après mon temps! Superbe finale chère amie 🙂

  7. beau challenge, bravo, désolé de ne pas avoir pu aider beaucoup sur ce challenge, mais vous l’avez rondement mené , je ne zapperais pas votre blog 🙂 bon week-end

  8. Well done again this year 🙂 What a pleasure!

  9. Wow, you have made it to Z. Congratulations Evelyne. I really like Zappeur and Zappeuse. It fits. Once wrote a grant to fight air pollution and called it ZAP, Zero Air Pollution. –Curt

    • Thank you, Curt, for your visits during this challenge. I didn’t know for Zappeur and Zappeuse and I like that. You could have called yourself the Zappeur when you wrote your grant ZAP!

  10. Great Z word! Haha. It’s the same in Italian. They use ‘lo zapping’ for channel surfing. Funny you also mention Frank Zappa. My older son is preparing for his end of the year exams, and he was assigned a research project for music on a French composer I’d admittedly never heard of: Edgard Varèse, who, apparently had a big influence on Frank Zappa’s music.

    • Love to read it in Italian. And you teach me something too. I don’t know this French composer either. My son who is majoring in music keeps telling me about all these obscure French guys. No idea that one influenced Zappa. I’m not an expert on him at all. But I found fun to link his song and album to the letter Z.
      Thanks, Kimberly, for supporting me along this month of April.

  11. Two great words to end the challenge. I seem to be zapping more often these days – not in the channel switching sense but by being forgetful.
    I think I” start using the term zut when I need a proper exclamation.
    I so enjoyed reading your posts. I realized that I know more French than I thought I did and I learned some new words, too.


  1. […] as a closure for this 2016 A to Z Challenge, I will leave you with a few extra Little French and American Words I didn’t […]

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