The versatile word "coup." (Pronounced coo)


By itself, it means a blow, a stroke, or a blast

However, when used in phrases, it can mean lots of things. 

Un coup de fer: a pressing, like with an iron. 
Un coup de fusil: a gunshot. 
Un coup de froid: a cold snap. 
un coup de vent: a gust of wind. 
Un coup de pied: a kick. 
Un coup de poing: a punch. 
Un coup de soleil: a sunburn. 
Un coup de tete: a head butt or a sudden impulse. 
Un coup de tonnerre: a thunderclap. 
Un coup de d'oeil: a glance or a look. 
Un coup de main: a helping hand. 
My daddy used to say, "Il a fait les quatre cent coups," meaning he really pitched a fit. 
You may be familiar with the phrase "un coup d'etat," meaning a blow to the state, or a military take-over of a government.

Contributed by Phoebe Beaugh Trotter
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