Unless you’re someone who knows my husband and I personally — or if perhaps, you hail from Louisiana — you’re probably a little mystified by the title of this blog.
NouveauSoileau, ya see, is a little clever play on words. My last name is Soileau, and I’ve only been a Soileau for a few years, hence I am a new Soileau. A nouveau Soileau, you might say, if you spoke French.
I think it’s fun — and hey! It rhymes.
Wait a minute. What? You didn’t know? You don’t know how to pronounce “Soileau,” do you?
Well, you’re not alone. Most of the speaking population, as far as I have been able to determine, could not correctly pronounce “Soileau” if their life depended on it — but only when confronted with the printed word S-O-I-L-E-A-U.
But you can do it, my learned reader, with a little help from the sure-fire Soileau Pronunciation Method™, perfected by my husband, who has more than 50 years of experience with this.
There are a handful of French words that most people can say, if you put a gun to their head, one of them being oui — or Wii, as it’s currently spelled. It means “yes.”
Another is voila, or as most people write, “wah-la.” It means “here,” not “ta-da” as most people mistakenly believe.
A third is moi, which means “me,” and is not spelled “mwah,” no matter how much time you spend on the internet.
Lastly, there’s plateau, which despite all that Frenchification there toward the end, it’s pretty recognizable to the average person as the word for “a flat place in the landscape.”
So let’s review: moi = mwah; plateau ends in something that sounds like “oh.”
I’ll wait a minute while that percolates.
OK, now substitute an “S” for the “m” in moi. Say it aloud …. swah.
Now tack on the end of “plateau” …. oh.
Now remember that Soileau has an “L” in there somewhere amongst all the vowels. Swah-low.
Soileau = Swallow! Like the bird! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Soileau! Nouveau Soileau! Get it? It rhymes!
I’m glad we had this little talk.