The 5th Day of Christmas
Le cinquième jour de Noël, mon amour m’a donné : cinq anneaux d’or…
(On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five gold rings…)
Oh what’s that? A helium balloon? Oh go on then…
You sang it, didn’t you? Admit it! This lo-ong stre-eeetched o-ut li-iine. Well, it’s not just a melodic crowd-pleaser, this line is Christmas choc(k)-full of lessons!
1. un anneau versus une bague. Both of these words mean “ring”, but anneau is more general. If it’s a jewelry ring that has a stone set in it, however, it’s called une bague. Lord of the Rings, in France, was called Le Seigneur des anneaux because there were no diamonds set in the rings of power. (This film is going to prove useful again later on when we come to “lords a-leaping,” methinks). Note how the plural of anneau gets an -x suffix, just like gâteau.
2. or / doré / en or / d’or – gold / golden / made of gold. Colours can be a bit tricky when they’re also materials. In English we use “golden” (the colour) and “gold” almost interchangeably. In French, or refers to the metal and we need to describe the rings as being made of gold, rather than “golden”. Therefore, anneaux d’or or bagues en or are both acceptable.