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I received an email with attachments. The text opened with "Voili-voilou les notes de..." Is voili-voilou known argot for voilà? Or something else?

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Yes, it is kind of a jocular alternative for voilà, or voilà voilà !

It is not very used and has no inherent particular meaning, but is definitely understood.

The tone used will tell how to interpret it, but the rare times I heard it, that was to express the happiness to have completed something and to deliver it like "Yeah, here you go!" or to mark that you have finished to tell something like disclosing some story, and soften the end with a "That's all, folks!".

  • This form is quite possibly issued, as a popular distortion, from the "voilà-voilà" or "voilà-voilà-voilà" that one could find in the Loire region or thereabouts at least thirty years back; as far as I know it wasn't used with a complement and its use didn't aim so much at jocularity as to communicating a certain finality relative to a state of affairs just discussed or exposed and to which it was a conclusion; supposing the process of formation suggested is verified is it still correct to classify this form as "slang"? – LPH Oct 20 '18 at 11:08
  • @user168676 Slang might be excessive indeed, the reason why I wrote kind of. It is neither offensive to people, nor restricted to a particular social group. May be jocular is also not the best adjective, I just wanted to mean that voili-voilou is often said with a smile. – jlliagre Oct 20 '18 at 14:10
  • On the contrary, jocular is the proper adjective insofar as the form "voili-voilou" is concerned; I was trying to draw the difference between this latter and what I think might be the precursor, that one being used (I think) on another basis (not so jocular and quite possibly sarcastic); the problem remains for "slang"; for that matter it suggested a full post to me. – LPH Oct 20 '18 at 14:28
  • What are its characteristics outside denotation? Sarcastic? Familiar? Imitating child speech? – Luke Sawczak Oct 20 '18 at 15:03
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"Voili Voilou" is quite common and used much more frequently verbally rather than in writing. It is only used in very informal situations such as at home or with close colleagues. Compared with just "Voilà" there is a note of finality. "Voilà" when handing a report written by someone else a close colleague and you are just passing it on, "Voili Voilou" when you hand a report that you wrote yourself over the last week. As with all subtleties, there is no golden rule

  • Je n'ai jamais entendu « Voilà voilou », l'expression est « Voili voilou. » – Toto Sep 19 at 9:43
  • @Toto I've heard both. I think it's a regional thing. I think voili is more common but this may be my own bias. – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Sep 19 at 11:33
  • @Gilles: Il est bien possible que cela se dise. Dans quel coin as-tu entendu cette formulation ? – Toto Sep 19 at 11:37
  • @Toto Paris, so it could have been people from anywhere. – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Sep 19 at 11:41
  • My typing mistake, "Voili Voilou" it is – Tim Baker Sep 20 at 14:46

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