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I remember skimming a funny words book years ago, whose title I have long forgotten.

I believe it said there is an uniquely French word that exists in no other language, meaning "to stick one's finger up a chicken's anus to check for an egg".

What is the word? Does it exist?

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  • never heard of such a verb although I was raised among thousands of chicken, in a French-speaking country. I would be very curious about discovering this new word though. – Laurent S. Sep 16 '15 at 12:23
  • Pas pour chercher un œuf, mais si c’est pour confirmer le lieu de naissance du poulet peut-être « bressetidigitation » marcherait. (Oups, sorry, that’s not a verb so never mind) – Papa Poule Sep 16 '15 at 14:12
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    @PapaPoule C'est une question pour toi ! Vas-y, épates nous ! :) – Random Sep 16 '15 at 21:16
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    The verb was mentioned, by Stephen Fry, in an episode of QI (a quiz show on BBC) prior to 2009. I distinctly remember the episode, and I, then, quizzed my French colleagues at work, about the word, the following day - suffice to say that they had never heard of the verb before. I can not remember the verb exactly but it was similar in sound and spelling to prommener (to walk) or pommier (pear tree). I have searched for the episode (either transcript or video clip) many times since then, but have, unfortunately, been unable to find it. It was a single word verb though, and not a phrase. – Greenonline Jan 2 '17 at 15:56
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    OK I will unaccept the answer. I was sure it was a single word as well. – MadMaardigan Jan 3 '17 at 17:06
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My grandma used to do that. She called it: tater le cul des poules.

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    Grand-mère fort sympathique qui maintenait une tradition détruite par l'industrialisation. – Personne Sep 17 '15 at 7:11
  • Je suis assez âgé pour connaitre aussi! – None Feb 6 '17 at 17:05
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Whilst this answer/post, unfortunately, does not provide the word itself, it points one in the right direction to locate it.

From my comment above:

The verb was mentioned, by Stephen Fry, in an episode of QI (a quiz show on BBC) prior to 2009. I distinctly remember the episode, and I, then, quizzed my French colleagues at work, about the word, the following day - suffice to say that they had never heard of the verb before.

Much to my regret, I can not remember the verb exactly but it was similar in sound and spelling to prommener (to walk) or pommier (apple tree). I have searched for the episode (either transcript or video clip) many times since then, but have, unfortunately, been unable to find it.

It was a single word verb though, and not a phrase.

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    Why do you need an answer in addition to your comment ? If it doesn't answer the question it should stay as a comment. – Teleporting Goat Feb 6 '17 at 15:58
  • This does not answer the question. – None Feb 6 '17 at 17:03
  • @TeleportingGoat - Whilst I would agree with you 99.9% of the time (w.r.t. comments), I made a personal exception in this case, simply because comments are ephemeral, and may be deleted at some point in the future. The answer that was provided by GAM PUB, was not the single word answer that the OP was looking for, and so I wanted to provide a permanent pointer to anyone who has the will, and stomach, to wade through a few seasons (2007-2009) of Q.I. – Greenonline Feb 7 '17 at 17:08
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    On peut faire avaler beaucoup de choses à un non-francophone :) Ca pourrait être une mauvaise interprétation et le mot pourrait avoir d'autres usages en français. Je pense qu'un éleveur peut dire si une poule porte un oeuf en la "palpant" (mais ça veut juste dire en lui pressant délicatement le ventre). – xenoid Feb 12 '17 at 23:43

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