Pronunciation: [ˈalə͡ʊz ˈɛn kˈalɪbˌasɪz] (IPA)

"Aloes en calebasses" is a French phrase that refers to a type of traditional herbal remedy made from the sap of the aloe plant, mixed with various other ingredients and served in a hollow gourd. The word "aloes" is pronounced /ˈæloʊs/ and refers to the plant itself, while "calebasses" is pronounced /kæləˈbæsɪz/ and refers to the container in which the remedy is served. The spelling of the phrase remains unchanged in English, and is commonly used in the context of traditional medicinal practices.

ALOES EN CALEBASSES Meaning and Definition

  1. "Aloes en calebasses" is a French-language expression that literally translates to "aloes in gourds" in English. This phrase is an idiomatic expression commonly used in the French Caribbean, particularly in Guadeloupe and Martinique. It refers to a situation or arrangement where incompatible elements or individuals are combined or forced to coexist.

    The phrase draws its origins from the use of aloes (a type of medicinal plant known for its bitter taste) and calebasses (a gourd-like fruit used as a container) in traditional Caribbean medicine. The mixture of aloes and calebasses was considered to be an unpleasant combination due to the contrasting qualities of the two substances.

    Metaphorically, "aloes en calebasses" implies the merging or coexistence of things that do not naturally go together, leading to disharmony or discomfort. It represents an awkward or incongruent situation where conflicting elements or individuals are combined forcibly, often resulting in tension, chaos, or an uneasy atmosphere. This expression is frequently used to describe situations where people with different personalities, values, or interests find themselves united in close proximity, usually against their will.

    In summary, "aloes en calebasses" denotes a situation where incompatible elements are forced to coexist, portraying an uneasy and disharmonious scenario.