Take the 2-minute tour ×
French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When I first learned French in high school, we were taught that mon œil was a way of expressing disbelief to another person, accompanied by a silly finger-eye gesture. For the French users here, I was wondering how prevalent this phrase is in French culture? Is it still used with both saying and gesture? If not, what is usually said in place of it?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Using Mon œil sounds a bit childish for grown ups.

Among young adults, you'll quite more often hear Mon cul! (literally My ass, quite vulgar, to be used very cautiously and with good friends only).

To be on the safe side, I would use Mais bien sûr! with an ironic tone. Something quite similar to this famous Milka commercial (check around 0:17).

share|improve this answer
4  
+1 Bravo pour la référence :) –  jv42 Jun 8 '12 at 13:03
4  
The difference between mon _oeil and mon cul is that, with the second one, you generally don't accompany it with the gesture... –  smonff Jun 11 '12 at 18:53
    
That would be fun :) –  Alexis Pigeon Jun 11 '12 at 19:12
2  
Or: "Mais oui!", "Mais voyons!". –  Laurent Couvidou Jun 12 '12 at 19:26
add comment

It is still used but it might sound a little too polite and childish (even more if you make an emphasizing gesture). What I usually say (with my friends) is "C'est ça" in an ironic way with a face that clearly shows disbelief. Nevertheless older adults might say that but it will sound a bit old or tacky ("ringard").

share|improve this answer
    
+1. In a slightly more casual register than your C'est ça, I would just this other variant : Vachement... –  Romain VALERI Jun 7 '12 at 21:34
add comment

Le Robert
Locution exclamative familière : "Mon oeil! : se dit pour marquer l'incrédulité, le refus."

"Je ne te crois pas", "Tu [te] racontes des histoires qui ne correspondent pas à la réalité."

Son emploi est une question de personne et de moment : il peut paraître ringard en société, ironique s'il est savamment amené dans la réponse.

Entre familiers, il est plutôt signe d'une bonne humeur amusée apportant une réponse bienveillante à une affirmation naïve, lorsqu'elle va d'adulte à enfant.

Lorsqu'en plus on porte le doigt à l’œil (et que l'on abaisse la paupière inférieure), on attend que la personne admette son erreur.

Bien que les modes changent, l'expression et le geste seront parfaitement compris, surtout si c'est un non francophone qui l'emploie pour montrer qu'il n'est pas dupe.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Il semble y avoir méprise ; un œil n'est pas seulement un organe de la vision, mais aussi, comme œillet et œilleton, mais aussi :

un trou destiné à faire passer quelque chose

comme un cordage en marine, un lacet pour une chaussure.

Je vous laisse deviner pourquoi l'expression est en fait très grossière.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.