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Edith Piaff had this nickname: La môme Piaf


What does this mean in plain engelsk (eller norsk hvis du kan det)?


I assumed that Piaf means sparrow (Passer spp.), or not ?

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Yes, it's basically an informal/dialectal word for a sparrow, or indeed a bird in general. I'm not sure just how common it is today, but it was probably more common in Edith Piaf's time.


Note that there's also a feminine word "piaffe", essentially meaning "person with strange gestures/manerisms". I leave it to the reader to form an opinion about the extent to which one word may have influenced the other...

So piaf is the sparrow, but what about Môme?

Môme is something like "kid", it's still in use today, like "chick" or "gal".  For example, "une jolie môme" could translate to "a real good looker".

So, "Kid Sparrow", which doesn't really translate fluently, the most common translation of "La Môme Piaf" is "The Little Sparrow".


I think "kid" or "chick" etc can work in English, just be careful of the word order: "the sparrow kid", "the sparrow lass", "the sparrow chick" etc would all work I think.

thanks for your comment, they certainly can work (particularly as single words), but perhaps sounds a bit clumsy.  "The Little Sparrow" is really the best translation in this case.

btw, I've only just discovered this site, wish I had found it years ago, it's perfect for me.

Hi ! As a French native, here is my point and my use of "un piaf". It's still used particularly in Paris area. It's a slang word meaning "bird", especially small ones.
It also exists a verb which is "piaffer". It means "to fidget impatiently", it's familiar but not slang.
I had heard of "piaffer" before, it certainly fits the way that a sparrow behaves.

Hi All, this is interesting, as "piaffe" is one of the High School movement that Grand Prix dressage horses must perform in a test. It is a movement which is performed in place.

La vie en rose


This is the English title on the 2007 french  film on Edith,

the original title is:


La Môme


Any one who would like to comment on why the french called the film La Môme,

and why did they have to create a brand new title on the english version?




I see,  as Jay says in a comment:



So, "Kid Sparrow", which doesn't really translate fluently, the most common translation of "La Môme Piaf" is "The Little Sparrow".




this means that Edith is just known as "the little" in Paris /France,

the piaff/ sparrow is really not needed in the nickname in France,

sorry --

all I need to say is "La Môme" and everyone in Paris and at Père-Lachaise, which I am about to visit next summer. --

knows I am talking about Her?


Hi there !

Edith Piaf was known as "la môme (Piaf)" for two main reasons :
- she started singing very young. And "môme" means "kid".
- she was a petite woman ~ 1,50 meters looking frail like a child.

I think the English change of title for the movie, is because her song "la vie en rose" was and still is very famous. I also believe it sounds frenchier for a non French audience. It's just a matter of marketing stuff ;-) because her life was absolutly not "la vie en rose", actually !
Happy new year from France, everybody !


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