Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

_fr. "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?" is a Creole version of a French phrase that has become well-known in the English-speaking world through popular songs. It means "Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?" and is perhaps best known from the song "Lady Marmalade," written by the songwriting team of Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan and first popularized in 1975 by the group Labelle featuring Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. The song was covered in 1998 by All Saints, and again in 2001 by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink as a single for the " _fr. Moulin Rouge!" film soundtrack. This phrase also appears in Tennessee Williams's 1947 play "A Streetcar Named Desire". David Frizzell and Shelly West recorded a country music song in the 1980s called "Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi" that was unrelated to "Lady Marmalade".

The origins of the phrase in English, however, can be traced back to a poem by E. E. Cummings published in 1922 and known by its first line "little ladies more", which contains the phrase " _fr. "voulez-vous coucher avec moi?"" twice.


The phrase has sometimes been taken as awkward French because of its formality— _fr. "Voulez-vous…" uses the formal pronoun _fr. "vous", indicating some kind of distance between the protagonists, which may not seem consistent with sexual activity nowadays. One would expect lovers to be using the informal pronoun _fr. "tu", making the phrase " _fr. Veux-tu coucher avec moi (ce soir)?", a sentence that still may sound awkward to French native speakers (" _fr. Tu veux coucher avec moi (ce soir)?" or " _fr. On couche ensemble (ce soir)?" would indeed sound much more natural).

However, the usage of the polite form _fr. "voulez-vous" may be consistent with high-class prostitution. Both "Lady Marmalade" and the poem allude to prostitution. In addition, using " _fr. vous" implies that the participants have just (or not yet) met, and forms an interesting juxtaposition with the intimacy of sex.

Alternatively, _fr. "vous" can be simply a plural form, indicating multiple sex partners. (French uses the same form for denoting both plurality and politeness; see T-V distinction.)

Due to the more widespread usage of _fr. ', a reflexive form of _fr. ', the phrase is frequently misinterpreted as grammatically incorrect. _fr. "Se coucher" refers only to the act of going to bed, whereas _fr. "coucher" means lovemaking explicitly. Thus, the "corrected" form of the phrase, " _fr. "Voulez-vous vous coucher avec moi?"" actually means "Do you want to go to bed with me?" and contains none of the sexual connotations of the original.

In popular culture

*The phrase is used in "its me...remix" by swizz beatz, lil wayne and others.

*The phrase is in the chorus of the song "Lady Marmalade".

*The phrase is also in the song, "It's Me Bitches" (Remix) by Lil Wayne, R-Kelly, and Swizz Beatz.

*The lyrics can also be found on the track "Get Out Of My House" by Dead or Alive, on their album "Nude"

*The phrase is also on the track "Nasty Naughty Boy" by Christina Aguilera, on her album "Back to Basics".

* The phrase is also in the lyrics of the song by Café Tacuba called "El Baile y El Salón", which appears on their album Re.

*"Voulez-Vous" is the title of an album and its title track by ABBA and a cover of the track by the A*Teens.

*The first single of the German duo S.E.X. Appeal is named "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi"

*This phrase is used in the "South Park" episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" by Eric Cartman taunting Clyde Harris. It is used after Cartman askes Clyde if he is French, to which Clyde declines.

*This phrase is used in the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" episode "Love at First Fight" by Will Smith. Vivian Banks tells Will about a girl from her college class, Kayla Samuels, who is coming to dinner. She tells him that Kayla is a very interesting girl. She's captain of the Math Team and President of the French Club. Will replys, "Well there you have it, we'd have nothing to talk about. I ain't no good at math, and I can't speak no French." Geoffrey then introduces Kayla. Will, who after seeing her is very attracted to her, comes to her, grabs her hand, and says the phrase.

*The phrase is used by the ostensible villain of the film "Better Off Dead".

*The phrase is also in the song "Doctor Monroe" by Casey Dienel.

*The phrase is part of the song "Voulez-Vous Danser" by Ace of Base, on their album "Sign", released in 1993.

*The phrase is also part of the chorus in the song "Hungry For Love" by Bad Boys Blue.

*The phrase appears in the Spanish-language song "El Baile y El Salon" by Cafe Tacuba.

*Chris Tucker says the phrase as he makes out with a French girl (Genvieve) in "Rush Hour 3".

*Lorelai Gilmore from "Gilmore Girls" says it in the season 3, episode 9. Guests at her parents' Thanksgiving dinner include a French couple; the husband asks Lorelai if she speaks any French, and Lorelai says she only knows "voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir", shocking her father who does not know the song (although the French woman does recognize it).

*Louise Brooks (played by Kathryn Drysdale) from "Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps" says it in the season 1, episode 3 ("Bone With the Wind") to gay man.

*"Serena van der Woodsen" sings it to no one in particular in the series "Gossip Girl" book "You Know You Love Me".

*The phrase is whispered after the first chorus of "Girl Rock" by "Tablo from Epik High".

*In the episode, Siren's Song, from the popular TV show "Charmed", Piper says this phrase to Leo as they are returned to normal at the end of the series.

*In the episode of Friends, The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break, Monica says she knows a little French to her interpreter date, being "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?" Monica is surprised to learn its meaning and exclaims, "Oh my God! No wonder I get such great service at Cafe Maurice!"

*This is a key phrase of the song [http://www.aquarium.ru/discography/brodyaga.html#@06 Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi] by Russian band "Aquarium".

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • coucher — 1. coucher [ kuʃe ] v. <conjug. : 1> • XIVe; couchier 1172; lat. collocare « placer dans une position horizontale, étendre » I ♦ V. tr. 1 ♦ Mettre (qqn) au lit. Coucher un enfant. Coucher un malade. ⇒ aliter. Par ext. Je ne peux pas vous… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • COUCHER — v. a. Étendre de son long sur la terre, sur un lit, etc. Il le coucha sur l herbe. On coucha le blessé sur un matelas. Saint Louis en mourant voulut qu on le couchât sur la cendre. Saint Laurent fut couché sur un gril, sur des charbons ardents.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • coucher — 1. (kou ché) v. a. 1°   Mettre au lit. Coucher un enfant. Les valets de chambre viennent coucher leurs maîtres. Les garçons de la noce venaient coucher l épousée. 2°   Étendre quelqu un ou quelque chose tout de son long sur la terre ou sur quoi… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Lady Marmalade — «Lady Marmalade» Сингл Labelle из альбома Nightbirds …   Википедия

  • Lady marmalade — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Lady Marmalade» Sencillo de Labelle del álbum Nightbirds Publicación Diciembre de 1974 Formato Sencillo de 7 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lady Marmalade — «Lady Marmalade» Sencillo de Labelle del álbum Nightbirds Formato Sencillo de 7 Grabación 1974 Género(s) Disco Duración 3:18 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lady Marmalade — (Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?) Labelle Veröffentlichung 1974 (Album) Länge 3:56 (Album), 3:19 (Single) Genre(s) Disco, Funk Autor(en …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • La Mama (band) — Infobox musical artist | Name = La Mama Background = group or band Origin = United States Genre = Pop, Disco, Dance pop, Hi NRG, Eurodance Years active = 1980 85 Label = Hansa Records Current members = Madeleine Davis (1980 85) Patricia Shockley… …   Wikipedia

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  • S.E.X.Appeal — Chartplatzierungen Erklärung der Daten Singles[1] Voulez vous coucher avec moi   AT …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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