Jeopardy! category: CNN WORLD LANGUAGES (26-1-2015)
$2000 clue: (Jim Bittermann reads:) Here in Paris this simple phrase, 2 rhyming 2-letter words, is very useful for saying “How’s it going?”, “I’m good”, “Does that work for you?” & more
The gist: Literally, “does it go?” or “it goes?” Ça va is among the most common phrases one hears when listening to spoken French. It can be used a simple greeting, to ask how someone is, some people are, or how a situation is going, or as an interjection to indicate a request for agreement. It can be used with a modifier, to ask “does it go well?” or “does it go badly?” It can be used with an infinitive to mean something is probably going to come about. It can also be, without the question mark, a response to any of those questions: “How goes it?” and “It goes.” can both be “ça va.” It can be used casually to indicate “enough” (as one might say “when” as someone pours us a glass of water), or it can be used aggressively to mean “enough!” It’s, let’s just say, versatile.
The clue: This is, as I said, a very common French phrase, and one that anyone with a casual knowledge of spoken French will be familiar with. The further hints comes from stating that’s a two-word rhyming phrase, which should really zero right in on it. If you ever took French, even in elementary school, you’ll probably remember this. Maybe even a little easy for a $2000 clue, but that could be because I’m Canadian and we have mandatory French classes.
In Jeopardy!: Oops, this is a J!Archive-proof clue: it doesn’t let you use search terms are two or fewer characters, so this phrase is unsearchable. Sorry, this must be why I’ve never done a word category before – they’re hard to write about!