glossary of local terms and expressions

Common terms and expressions can have different meanings in various part of the world. Local terms and expressions describing paths, tracks, lanes, roads, etc, are explained in this section.









The photo on the left show a typical path, meandering through the forest in springtime. The path is way marked (see the white and red stripes on the right hand side). This way marked path is designated GR364 and goes from the Atlantic Ocean near the city of Nantes in the north, to the Mediterranean Sea near the city of Pau, in the south. The GR364 passes the gate of le Moulin du Chemin


English speakers often use different words to describe the same things. Here are the meaning intended by the local terms used in route notes at le Moulin du Chemin to describe routes through the countryside.

  • Path                       An un-surfaced footpath, wide enough for pedestrians to pass.

  • Track                     An un-surfaced way, wide enough for farm machinery.

  • Lane                      A narrow surfaced road with verges.

  • Road                      A surfaced road with kerbs.

 Out of interest, here are some of the French names you may see on signs on the walks, used to describe paths and tracks – plus some other names you will certainly not see in this vicinity. 

  • Sentier                 Footpath

  • Chemin                Footpath, track or lane

  • Allée                     Footpath or track in a Park or through a Forest, also an alleyway between buildings

  • Vennelle               Lane or alleyway between buildings

  • Impasse               Cul-de-sac (interestingly, cul-de-sac is not a term used in France)

  • Rue                      Road with buildings on one or each side

  • Avenue                 A more-imposing rue

  • Boulevard             A more-imposing avenue, where you would expect to find theatres, restaurants, bars and night clubs

  • Corniche              An coastal road designed to create a very strong impression of wealth? as in Monaco or Abu Dhabi

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