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I have heard the following dialogue in the TV series Marseille:

  • A: T'as qui, toi ?
  • B: Je procure pour le mari de ma voisine. Il est parti niquer au bled.
  • A: Il est sur les listes du quartier ?
  • B: C'est ce qu'elle m'a dit, la vieille.

Context: The members of a gang plan to be proxies for residents of the neighborhood who will not show up to vote in the municipal elections the next day. This will increase the number of votes of the candidate they support.

Does "procurer pour quelqu'un" mean "to act as a proxy for someone in something" in this context? I have only found "procurer qqch à qqn" and "se procurer" in Word Reference, Larousse and TLFi dictionaries.

  • I'm sure you realised already but be aware that the language in this series is not really idiomatic for most people natives neither. – Laurent S. Apr 4 at 18:48
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As you suspected, in this dialogue, procurer pour quelqu'un definitely means "to act as a proxy for someone" (procurer being derived from procuration as used in vote par procuration).

It is not at all an established or documented usage (yet?) of that verb, but it is easily understandable.

Because it is less constrained by conservative rules, colloquial/street language (clearly used here as shows the next sentence) has always been creative by expanding the meaning of existing words or introducing new expression and vocabulary.

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  • @LaurentS. I guessed the OP already found this link but you are right it might not be obvious for everyone. Answer edited. Thanks. – jlliagre Apr 5 at 0:22
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There must be an error in the dialogue. I think B mentions the fact that she is voting by proxy (in french: vote par procuration) for her neighbour's husband, which means that the husband has therefore, before he leaves, done the necessary paperwork to give him the right to vote in her place. We do not say "procurer pour quelqu'un", perhaps she says "J'ai la procuration du mari de ma voisine."

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  • Welcome to French StackExchange! Do not hesitate to check out our Code of conduct ;) That is a good answer, altough you might want to look at jlliagre's one :) – JKHA Apr 4 at 5:47
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    Ce n'est pas une erreur, il s'agit simplement du language relâché voire créatif des "lascars" de cette série. Mais vous avez raison par contre, cet emploi du verbe est vraissemblablement lié à la procuration "je procure pour .. "="je vote par procuration pour ..." – Laurent S. Apr 4 at 19:19
  • Yes, but I've personally never heard anyone use that phrasing before. – Marie Apr 5 at 22:14

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