Discuss and learn French: French vocabulary, French grammar, French culture etc.
"aille" is the subjonctive present of "aller", there is probably something missing. I guess the original phrase was something like : "Il faut qu'il / que j' aille prendre une verveine avec pépé"
"Verveine" is a plant that is used for some relaxing beverage (is vervain something that exist?).
"Pépé" is just a familiar form of "Grand-père"
So, if I translate your phrase with my asumption, it gives me :
"I/he need(s) to go have a vervain with grandpa"
I am definitely not the world's plant expert, but I think it's called "verbena" in English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbena
That said, I don't think I've ever seen it served in an English tearoom...
Thanks for the repilies. Yes, vervain is a plant ok and yes, there is some more text which precedes the phrase, the whole thing is as follows:
il faut quand meme que Joe aille prendre une verveine avec pepe
What I am looking for is the meaning of the expression, the equivalent in English, i.e. what are the French getting at when they suggest someone needs to go and have a vervain with grandpa. It is clearly idiomatic so the question is what does it refer to?
Without any context, this phrase has no deeper meaning. It just means "Joe really has to have a vervain with grandpa".
But, vervain is oftenly associated with old people, and calm and boring activities.
For instance, a command joke in a bar :
"Je n'ai pas envie de bière, je vais juste prendre un coca
- tu ne veux pas une verveine aussi?"
It is used to point out that someone is acting old, or has some leashed behavior.
But in your phrase, it sounds weird.
It begins to make sense to me now, it has been said at the end of a protracted business negotiation, by the purchaser about the seller, so I am thinking that it means Joe really needs to calm down a bit, come into the real world, something like 'wake up and smell the roses' perhaps??
Could it be used like that?
It is a bit strane but it means :
"ouch, to have a tea with grandpa"