Updated: Sep 7

Le pique-nique, picnic is a French tradition but do you realize what it colloquially means?

Today we had a good laugh during a French online class with Jaclyn and Lynda which inspired me this article. On a eu un bon fou rire = we had a good laugh! So let me extend it to you!

Shocking news: you might be surprised but it literally means... POKING (pique) - FUCK (nique- niquer means fucking in vulgar French)

I am sure that when you think of the word picnic you think of the famous painting of the Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre August Renoir (Les canetiers)

The one I have in mind to help you portray the roots of the French picnic... is the painting of

Édouard Manet - "The Luncheon on the Grass".

So yes, a French picnic is ancestrally not just about wine (le vin), fromage, and saucisson. But letting your hair down and having a good time... quite the precursor of Woodstock really but in a French poetic gourmet elegant way... Actually, during the impressionism period, the trend was to go outside Paris on the river banks, paint, and picnic... so a certain JOIE DE VIVRE pushed to the max here...

So yes, looking at this painting"Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe "– originally titled Le Bain – it depicts a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting. This will not be possible nowadays in France.

Miss Valerie Travel tip for Paris: THE PERFECT PICNIC LOCATION in PARIScheon on t

he Gras

My version of "Luncheon on the grass" - Acrylic by Valerie Swanson-Parmentier sold for the owner of Magic Lamp restaurant.