Which of the following photos depicts a pair of 'tongs'?
Answer: It depends on the language.
In English, it's the metal hinged tool of course. But in French, les tongs (fem, pl) are flip-flops or thongs.The metal device is called pince à aliments (fem, pl) in French. To add to the confusion, flip-flops and beach slip-ons are sometimes called claquettes which is also the name for tap dancing and tap shoes.
This discovery made me wonder about other types of shoes in French beyond chaussures, hauts talons and pantoufles*.
Now I adore the type of 'flats' called ballerines (fem, pl) in French because they resemble the dance shoes.
Most people know that sneakers/athletic shoes are les baskets and that high heels are called hauts talons, but did you know that stilettos or spike heels are called talons aiguilles? And heels/pumps are also called escarpins (mas. pl)?
What are your favorite shoes?
*note: a pantouflard is a term used for a homebody or couch potato, but is also a derogatory term for a civil servant when he takes a job in the private sector.