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Simpsons, The French Et Moi


From a good piece in the Philadelphia Inquirier:

Creator Matt Groening has been skewering Gallic mores since the show’s first season. In the 1990 episode “The Crepes of Wrath,” Bart goes to France as an exchange student, only to be exploited by unscrupulous wine dealers.

But it was an episode eight years ago that spawned an insult for the ages. Groundskeeper Willie, forced by budget cuts to teach French at Springfield’s elementary school, bellows to the class in his rich Scottish burr, “BONJOURRRRRR, ye cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys.”

The phrase, kept alive ever since by Internet bloggers and columnist Jonah Goldberg, has caused puzzlement in France. On Saturday, conservative newspaper Le Figaro translated it as “primates capitulards et toujours en quête de fromages,” or, roughly, “capitulating primates always questing for cheeses.”