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Laura K. Lawless

Au revoir les euros

By April 1, 2012

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À la une : French Finance Minister François Baroin made an unscheduled appearance on TF1's Le journal de 20h last night to announce that France can no longer afford to remain part of the euro. Claire Chazal, the host of France's most popular news program, was visibly shocked throughout. Citing many difficulties, including debt swap, national bankruptcies, and fear that the term GIPSI could become FIGSIP (« très moche » dit-il), Baroin unveiled a radical new plan for France to withdraw from the troubled euro zone. President Sarkozy and high-level ministers had considered a return to the franc, but decided creating a brand-new currency would have more of an impact.

France will launch the new currency on its own, gradually making it available to other French-speaking countries that meet stringent criteria, including
  • National debt of no more than 3% GDP
  • Unemployment of less than 8%
  • Participation in French agricultural subsidies
  • Purchase of one bottle of wine or water per citizen per week, à prix d'ami
Suggested names for the new currency included sarkozèpe, which was immediately rejected; hexagognon, which would have been too difficult to mint; and francofric, which favors freshness, fun, and francophilia but was finally found to be altogether too alliterative. Argentine was the front-runner for a while, until geography buffs and world travelers started getting confused. Finally, in painful recognition of the love-hate relationship between France and the United States, the new French currency was dubbed the doulaire.

Final details will be ironed out after the second round of presidential elections in May, since a win by François Hollande, the Socialist candidate who is polling well despite being trop vilain to ever become president, might lead to additional concerns. But if Sarkozy maintains his seat, the doulaire will make its world début in one year, on April Fool's Day! Poisson d'avril ! Je t'ai eu ? Did I get you? If you made it this far without catching on to my little joke, let me assure you that there's no such thing as the doulaire and, as far as I know, France has no intention of withdrawing from the euro. However, during the last election a friend of mine did insist that Hollande is trop vilain to be president; we'll see if he's right next month. Have a great day!

Addendum: I'm so glad you all enjoyed my little joke - as you can imagine, I had a lot of fun writing it. The best part was coming up with all of the different currency names. Did you notice that each one included at least a hint of a word related to money? Here's how I "coined" them (ha ha):
  • sarkozèpe - French president Sarkozy + the verlan of pèze (familiar, like "dough" or "bread" in English)
  • hexagognon - France's nickname Hexagone + pognon (familiar)
  • francofric - franco + fric (informal)
  • argentine - argent with a suffix
  • doulaire - douleur (get it? the painful relationship) + "dollar" with a weird French pronunciation, as if spelled dollaire
If you're new to my site, you might like to look back at my previous poissons d'avril.


April 1, 2012 at 4:19 am
(1) Bethany says:

Poisson d’avril!
You had me at first (and oh how I wish they would go back the Franc).

Boon weekend! – j’utlise tes ressources de plus en plus pour mes cours de francais! Que t’es super chouette!

April 1, 2012 at 4:59 am
(2) Pamela Hanson says:

C’est très bon, le doulaire! Après avoir été avec toi pendant des années, j’étais prête pour le premier d’avril :-)

Cou cou d’Angers, où je passe une semaine avec ma nièce.

April 1, 2012 at 4:59 am
(3) Lynette Steyn says:


April 1, 2012 at 5:09 am
(4) Jilly says:

Yes you had me at first as well, but very good! Bon dimanche tous les mondes!

April 1, 2012 at 5:15 am
(5) julie says:

Wow, what a news! Merci! I am in Asia and understand this is very bad for almost European countries, but this news is surprising since I think France is the powerfull country there hand in hand with germany :)

April 1, 2012 at 5:17 am
(6) Isobel says:

Poisson d’avril!

April 1, 2012 at 5:23 am
(7) Marianne says:

Oh boy! That was a good one. At first I lived in HOPE (getting rid of this destructive Euro)!!!
The suggestions about the name for a new French currency had me laughing loudy when I realized what you were up to.
Well done – I love it!

April 1, 2012 at 5:24 am
(8) dee says:

Anyone heard the thing on radio 4 bout TREADMILLS FOR PENSIONERS IN THE POST OFFICE SO THEY CAN EXERCISE before they get their pensions ????? Poison d’Avril par tout ajourdhui…..!

April 1, 2012 at 5:24 am
(9) Olga says:

Très agréable! Poisson d’avril!
Bon dimanche tous les mondes!

April 1, 2012 at 5:25 am
(10) Siew says:

LOL..C’etait drole..

April 1, 2012 at 5:45 am
(11) Russ Dean says:

Je savais dès le début – je ne suis pas un poisson d’avril!

April 1, 2012 at 6:01 am
(12) Laura Barker says:

OK you got me!!!!
Hadn’t even realised it was April 1st!

April 1, 2012 at 6:01 am
(13) christine says:

tres bon fait. quelle humeur!

April 1, 2012 at 6:02 am
(14) Sarah says:

Rigolo! Very funny joke… you had me to start with until the names of the currency came…. I do hope Julie rereads the blog before running off to spread the news….

April 1, 2012 at 6:07 am
(15) Gwilym says:

As in Sarah’s case I only twigged when the proposed names of the new currency was mentioned.

April 1, 2012 at 6:09 am
(16) Andy Homer says:

You had me going at the start as a you could almost believe that Sarkozy would be daft enough to suggest it – like closing the borders. He’s desperate to take the headlines off Merkel!!

April 1, 2012 at 6:18 am
(17) SwissMousie says:

You really had me there. I was shocked.

April 1, 2012 at 6:21 am
(18) Rick says:

Vieilles nouvelles. En Australie, nous avons entendu hier.
Got me! I was so excited.

April 1, 2012 at 6:24 am
(19) Victor Raymond says:

Bon poisson d’Avril!

April 1, 2012 at 6:57 am
(20) Curmad says:

J’aime tellement le “doulaire” ca vas três bien avec ‘la douleur”.

J’ai avalè le poisson d’avril !

April 1, 2012 at 7:52 am
(21) Michele says:

Vous m’avez eu! J’ai commencé à avoir des doutes quand vous avez parlé du vin qu’on serait obligé d’acheter chaque semaine. Très bien fait!

April 1, 2012 at 8:17 am
(22) Kwagala says:

C’est breaking news en effet! Car nous n’avons jamais reçu deux bulletins d’information dans les deux jeux.

As I read on my curiosité kept increasing even at the unserious sarkozep proposal. LOL

April 1, 2012 at 8:25 am
(23) Vidya says:

U had me till doulaire… :)

April 1, 2012 at 8:29 am
(24) Roxana N Sahora says:

Vous m’avez eu Madame!!! Chapeau à vous.

April 1, 2012 at 8:42 am
(25) Lievin Yenga says:

J’y ai cru au debut.Bon travail de poison d’avril!

April 1, 2012 at 8:44 am
(26) Semudia says:

LOL… Vous m’avez eu, madame,, c’est tres interessant…

April 1, 2012 at 8:52 am
(27) Lola Run Run says:

Ha Ha….ok you go me for a while :P

April 1, 2012 at 8:59 am
(28) Tobi-Velicia says:

LOL! J’aime ça!

April 1, 2012 at 9:07 am
(29) Christine says:

Me too……I was busy working out how it would affect my bank account! My suspicions were aroused with the wine quota…far too low! Well done, good fun!

April 1, 2012 at 9:18 am
(30) Karen W says:

You had me Google-ing everything!! Very funny. Poison d’Avril!!

April 1, 2012 at 9:22 am
(31) Josephine says:

Poisson d’avril, jajajajaja

April 1, 2012 at 9:26 am
(32) Ron a Abington says:

Facile que vous avez fait me l’avaler. Car j’aime bien toutes sortes de poission! Surtout comme ca. Bien fait!!

April 1, 2012 at 9:32 am
(33) Michele says:

Vous m’avez eu! Je me disais “doulaire”? C’est bizare. It must be very “painful”.

April 1, 2012 at 9:37 am
(34) BenR says:

Me got, hook, line and sinker!

April 1, 2012 at 9:45 am
(35) Kiki says:

Oh my god — my first April Fool’s of the day…LOLOL! I did stop at the line – ‘buy wine or water’ but then thought, “Oh those crazy French — they want to increase their wine sales.” Good one, Laura! :)

April 1, 2012 at 9:46 am
(36) Judy says:

poisson d’avril! You had me hastily reading the rest of your post…bien sur! I shared it…but…we’ll see who believes…..
Nothing seems impossible these days though.

April 1, 2012 at 9:55 am
(37) Bishan says:

Laura, fascinante ! J’ai hâte de lire l’année prochaine.

April 1, 2012 at 9:55 am
(38) Lupita says:

Mon Dieu!…Oui, le poisson d’avril…I was hooked…until I read others’ comments…rigoler en haut (REH)…o en espanol..riendo…..

April 1, 2012 at 10:15 am
(39) Monique says:

Mignon ce poisson, mais le doulair c’est genial. Mes eleves qui apprennent l’anglais le prononce assez bien, merci. Mais, le vin, la …
j’ai bien ri :o )

April 1, 2012 at 11:01 am
(40) Diane says:

You had me until the one bottle xof wine per week!

April 1, 2012 at 11:05 am
(41) Emmanuel Montes says:

2nd time today, et une femme chaque fois, nom de Dieu! At least I got on to this one after “Sarkozepe”. Bravo!

April 1, 2012 at 11:05 am
(42) Euphonise says:

” Doulair” wow, Vous m’avez eu.

April 1, 2012 at 11:05 am
(43) Nathalie says:

Hollande is trop vilain to be president…. I thought that was the ” poisson
Very well done Madame, I love reading your paper. Thank you for your hard work.

April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am
(44) sushama says:

On ne regrette pas d’etre un bon poisson d’avril!?

April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am
(45) Karen says:

Told my Dad “The shocking news”….he laughed!! Damn it! Guess I’m the fool!

April 1, 2012 at 11:44 am
(46) Lauriate Roly. says:

Laura: Vous m’avez pris à nouveau. Surtout le jour étant un dimanche, quand je ne m’attendais pas à recevoir votre Newsletter à tout moment sauf le mardi ou le vendredi. Vous êtes vraiment un “trickster”.
Vous pouvez convaincre les citoyens de Menton au cours de leur Fête du Citron, que les citrons ne sont pas vraiment les citrons, mais les noix de coco au lieu jaune.
Merci pour le rire sincère.

April 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm
(47) Sandra says:

Brilliant! The names also got me lol!

April 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm
(48) Rachel says:

Laura you got me! I cannot believe it! hahaha I was just telling someone and now I shake my fist at you!
Bon poisson d’avril!

April 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm
(49) Iyah says:

LOL! You got me! Never been in many years! ‘doulaire’ sounded funny and it made me laugh! What a name for a currency!

April 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm
(50) Ken Smith says:


April 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm
(51) John Noland says:

Furthermore, I have just hear Germany is switching to the Merkelmark !
C’est vrai !!

April 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm
(52) JCHayes says:

I fell hard…ibut learned a new expression: Poison d’avril!

April 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(53) Lorraine says:

Très bien fait! I read the first line, then read it aloud to my husband, THEN noticed the date. Got me! Thank you for starting my day with a smile.

April 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm
(54) Roger says:

Et un grand poisson à vous, en retour!

April 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(55) visvaldis says:

I had to bang my fist on the table on this one. It’s the first time I’ve fallen for an April One. I’m a fool for the day!

April 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(56) Deborah says:

You had us going here in Sonoma County, CA as well!!

April 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm
(57) Robin Archibald says:

I read your first line and thought “Oh my, really?!” Then I remembered being April fooled last year by your story about the new dietary laws for restaurants. A quick glance at the date on my computer desktop confirmed my suspicion that I was about to be fooled again!

I loved the possible names for the new currency!

April 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm
(58) Ronan says:

vous me blague!

ah d’accord…c’est le premier d’avril….


April 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm
(59) Nigaude says:

Au début, oui. Mais, après quelque phrases (surtout les noms qu’on a rejeté), j’ai pensé au 1 avril. Très bien fait, alors ! Brava, Laura !

April 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm
(60) Hilary Dunk says:

Very good !….If only it were true…….

Really fooled me…I’ve had to write several email apologies to friends & colleagues.
..but I’m not embarrassed…..it was so well done. I wonderif the BBC have done anything for April fools day ?

April 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm
(61) Eve says:

Loved it! Même que je n’ai pas été eu, c’etait un très drôle histoire. How do you keep coming up with such great stories every year?!
What does cou cou mean?
Merci pour tout Laura.

April 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm
(62) Belmont says:

C”est chic, ce poisson d’avril.

April 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm
(63) smw says:

If this is true,then they should just go back to calling the currency the franc again.If it is an April Fool’s joke,then that’s too bad because I thought France pulling out of the Euro was a brilliant idea!

April 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm
(64) smw says:

I meant pulling the euro!I just forwarded this to my husband and you had him believing it,too.

April 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm
(65) Dana says:

O là là! I rushed to see if other news sites were carrying this bombshell! What a scoop! And then I finished reading . . . well done!!!

April 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm
(66) Ray James says:

Je l’ai beaucoup aimé.

April 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(67) Carma Jean Rausch says:

Felicitations! Pour ma part c’etait quelques moments de panique.

April 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(68) Marcus Stone says:

The sad part is that probably in the not too distant future this is going to happen if there are anymore problems with the euro.

April 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm
(69) Donna says:

Mdr !

Yes, you had me at first; up until I saw “Francofric” – I doubt that would have gotten approval, considering the fact that slang and official documents don’t mix. :) I’m passing this along to friends who aren’t on your list.

April 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm
(70) Joan Mason says:

ayant lu ces nouvelles, je me suis rendu compte qu’il est le premier avril aujourd’hui at nous sommes tous poissons d’avril! Moi, je preferais le doulaire, c’est juste!

April 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(71) joan Mason says:

Eve, I think cou-cou means “pee-bo” as when you pop up somewhere to entertain a small child!

April 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm
(72) Katherine says:

Quel poisson d’avril ! J’ai bien rigole”

April 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm
(73) Conor Kiernan says:

Haha ya got me Laura!! xD I was just about to announce the news to my college french class! Mon Dieu! :P

April 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm
(74) Anne-Marie says:

you should have heard me!! I was moaning all the time through the reading. I kept saying: C’est pas vrai! Quelle idiocie!!. And all those names.. I never thought -once- that it was an April Fool joke. Never!! Quel soulagement à la fin de la lecture. Merci. Ce n’était qu’un cauchemar…..

April 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm
(75) Blake says:

hahahaha, c’est trop drole!

April 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm
(76) ror says:

Wow!! I was shocked — thank god it was only April Fool’s Day !!!

April 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm
(77) Michelle says:

I thought it sounded strange but didn’t get it unitl the end. LOL.

April 2, 2012 at 12:38 am
(78) Julia says:

So Glad you got me.. been holding Euros so I could celebrate my birthday in France this year.. haven’t been back since 06 and that was gonna be my way back.. using the EUROS!!!!! So, glad you dished up a good Poisson d”Avril.. Abientot.. JC

April 2, 2012 at 12:55 am
(79) Karim says:

Incredibly lovely.

April 2, 2012 at 2:20 am
(80) LKL - French Guide says:

Thanks for all of your comments, I loved reading them!

I just added some info about how I created the currency names to the end of my article, if you’re interested.

April 2, 2012 at 2:59 am
(81) CISSY says:

I actually almost believed the story. It seemed so real. You are good!!

April 2, 2012 at 3:08 am
(82) sheila says:

Brilliant! Haha. Very cleverly done – you totally had me & I’m so disappointed that its not true! Merci LKL :-)

April 2, 2012 at 3:28 am
(83) John Murray says:

Your joke was good, but here in Australia it’s the 2nd April!

April 2, 2012 at 4:50 am
(84) Roman says:

That was a good one! But I thought it seemed a bit fishy (har har) from the beginning. Well, that was mostly because I knew it was le premier d’avril. Maybe I should finally get rid of my euros, though. You never know!

April 2, 2012 at 5:49 am
(85) Anita Anaman says:

seriously,you had me.i thought it was reallyb true.good poisson d’avril

April 2, 2012 at 7:06 am
(86) Mohammed says:

In the beginning I asked myself what was the relationship between your lessons and news? I said, maybe you would give us a piece of news in French and explain it or highlight the important words, but I did not imagine that was just a joke Poisson d’avril !, anyway I learned something new in French. Thank you for your efforts and sense of humor.

April 2, 2012 at 7:43 am
(87) Reinaldo says:


April 2, 2012 at 8:59 am
(88) Marie says:

Considering that I live in a french territory, I was wondering how I missed this one! Great joke!

April 2, 2012 at 11:59 am
(89) gail bingenheimer says:

This is the first I’ve heard of this. I agree with going back to the original franc.

April 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm
(90) Vinny says:

Up to your same old tricks. But as George Bush says:
“Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice………..can’t get fooled agin!”

April 3, 2012 at 10:56 am
(91) Robin A-Taylor says:

Ha! I was waiting for you…. I got you at the headline on the frontpage and clicked it with a big grin.

Great fun as always. I think you had me cold last year, so: one-all. :D

April 4, 2012 at 11:41 am
(92) Lectrice says:

Nice. I’m reading this a few days after April 1. I was halfway through before I caught on. :-)

April 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm
(93) Sheila says:

Oh boy! Now I will have to informe everyone it was only a joke!

April 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(94) conrad says:

Ah mon Dieu! Je disais a mes etudiants comment le posson d’avril est d’une dimension incroyable en France! Quel exemple extra a leur donner des notre rentree! Bravo.

April 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm
(95) Nigaude says:

I loved your added explanation that I see now. It has to be the best written April Fools note I’ve ever read! Although it was the names of the currency that tipped me to the joke, I still think they were wonderfully clever and the whole article stands superb!

I have shared it with friends across the globe all to their delight as well!

Merci beaucoup !

April 12, 2012 at 9:52 am
(96) Prema says:

LOVELY!!! Have been very busy this month, just thought of catching up on my French learning…. Yeah, you got me totally, mainly coz i’d totally forgotten bout “le poisson d’Avril”. Thanks for the smile Laura. :-)

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