Warning: This cereal may contain traces of spiders

In a Lisbon grocery store, I was looking at the ingredient panel of a box of cereal. It contained the information in multiple languages, and French came first. I was momentarily stunned by the following warning:

Traces possibles d'arachides.

I guess this falls in the category of "Raymond misreads French cereal box warnings."

Comments (18)
  1. FDA agrees says:


    So food may contain traces of arachnids.

    Well the wiki entry says "insects" so technically they cannot, but I doubt "insect" was used instead of "arthropods" in the real FDA documents.

  2. Lauren Smith says:

    Spiders would probably cause less panic than the peanuts.

  3. John says:

    Oh my God.  I’m never going to eat or drink again:


  4. I fed this into the Google Translator: "Traces possible peanuts"… But yeah, they’re arachnid peanuts.  Like in a 50’s movie.

  5. Nawak says:

    Sometimes, food may contain traces of motor oil… without anyone (except in Greece) seeming to care enough to ban the food:


    It’s something I hate about our french government: always hiding and pointing Brussels when outraging decisions are made, like they never had any say in it.

    Hopefully (?) sometimes the scam is too big and the products get banned:


    (Some other article mentions cheese dating from 1980 being recycled…)

  6. Nawak says:

    And by "Hopefully (?)", I meant "Fortunately (?)"

    Sometimes I mix words… sorry!

    (Yes and articles to comment on, too)

  7. Mark Jonson says:

    With all of these "misreads" lately, it might be time for a "misread" blog tag.

  8. Boris says:

    In French, if you’re late, you’re "en retard".

  9. Chi tardi arriva male alloggia says:

    > In French, if you’re late, you’re "en retard".

    And in Italian you are "in ritardo". And I guess that’s similar in all other languages..

    If yours is a silly pun on "retarded", you will be happy to know that retarded means "late on developing mental/social/other skills", so the similitude is not casual.

  10. Chi tardi arriva male alloggia says:

    With "all other languages" I meant "all other LATIN languages" sorry.

  11. Frederic Merizen says:

    I’m French and I routinely misread "arachide" as "arachnide", if that can give you some comfort.

  12. Boris says:

    German speakers are probably amused by Darth Jaws and Boba Fat.

  13. Boris says:

    Chi tardi arriva male alloggia: These days, "retarded" usually means "ridiculous, stupid, idiotic". Saying that a low-IQ person is "retarded" or "a retard" could be considered offensive.

  14. Sven Groot says:

    Retard also means something else: to slow down or decelerate.

    When landing an aircraft, just before touchdown you raise the nose a bit and pull the throttles to idle. The latter is also called "retarding the throttles".

    In Airbus aircraft, there is an audio reminder given just before touchdown. In other words, the aircraft computer yells "RETARD, RETARD" at you just before touchdown. :)

  15. bhiggins says:

    Sorry for posting this here, but the Suggestion Box is not accepting new comments.  I guess it’s stuffed!


    I recall that several years ago I saw a Win32 API function called EnumClaw that did something hilariously useless.  The docs said it would randomly return either the parent window of a given HWND or some other value, I don’t remember exactly.  I assumed that this was a joke and the function was named after the city Enumclaw, WA.

    I can’t seem to find any mention of this function anymore — can you confirm or deny that this function ever existed, and when it came into being and disappeared?  I’d love to read what the docs said about it again, too, since it was pretty funny.  Any history on this function would be fun to hear.

    Thank you Raymond.


  16. Boris says:

    Sven: yes, but that’s aviation jargon. I haven’t checked all definitions (a fire retardant also comes to mind)–I was just commenting on the low-IQ definition and common usage of the word. The etymology is quite obvious.

  17. Handyman says:

    The fish shop at the train station in Leiden, The Netherlands used to have a big sign saying their fish was baked "in 100% pure arachnid oil". I never had the heart to enlighten them about this subtlety — if only because of the loads of fun that would take away from my fellow travelers…

  18. Sven Groot says:

    Boris: yeah, I know, I was just adding a humorous anecdote. Because to people who don’t know this particular jargon, it sounds really weird to have an aircraft shout "retard" at its pilots. :)

    In a similar story, when Mythbusters’ Jamie was trying to land an aircraft (in a simulator, not a real aircraft) he wasn’t doing very well and the Ground Proximity Warning System was telling him "don’t sink" (meaning "don’t reduce altitude") in a stern voice. On which Jamie commented: "why is it telling me not to think?"

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