I am looking for a list of expressions meaning "the best of" such as "la crème de la crème". I would like some serious and funny ones, anyone has some in mind? or a reference for that (I will be surprised that there is no such lists on the internet but did not find one)?

  • 1
    Do you want only idoms like "X de X", where X is "crème", or "élite", etc... ? or anything that means the same thing ?
    – Random
    Feb 23 '16 at 8:18
  • @Random Anything that means the same thing.
    – peuhp
    Feb 23 '16 at 8:19
  • Does "c'est la cerise sur le gâteau" fits ?
    – Kii
    Feb 23 '16 at 11:53
  • You could try "c'est le pied" - informal - literally "the foot". Feb 24 '16 at 5:53
  • @Kii "La cerise sur le gâteau" is something that comes on top of the rest, not necessarily something excellent.
    – Did
    Feb 24 '16 at 20:39

Here are some options-


  • nec plus ultra
  • summum (de xxx)
  • apogée
  • fleuron
  • comble
  • rien de mieux ("il n'y a rien de mieux")
  • le fin du fin

Funny or slang:

  • le max
  • le pompon ("c'est le pompon")
  • la haute
  • le bout du bout ("c'est le bout du bout")
  • le top niveau
  • voir Naples et mourir (with a !)
  • la bête
  • extra
  • la mer et les étoiles
  • le fromage

Some of these expressions may not always be understood in that meaning, depending upon the audience and the context.

  • "Apogée"? Jamais lu ou entendu "la crème de la crème" utilisé dans ce sens.
    – Did
    Feb 24 '16 at 16:30
  • In the context of the OP's question. Example:"Il représente l'apogée de la classe criminelle de son époque", i.e. "the best of" see OP's exact formulation above. Btw - this example is, of course, somewhat sardonic:-) Feb 24 '16 at 20:04
  • Where is the example coming from?
    – Did
    Feb 24 '16 at 20:32
  • L'apothéose maybe? Or la culmination? Le sommet? Le pic? Le zenith? Le climax? L'acmé? L'essence même? Il y en tellement... Feb 25 '16 at 2:52
  • Sorry but it seems I must be more explicit here: "l'apogée" is never used to mean "la crème de la crème". Larousse's online dictionary defines "apogée" as "Point de l'orbite d'un corps céleste où la distance de ce corps à la Terre est maximale" and provides the expression "Être à l'apogée de sa carrière". Both clearly indicate that one is talking about the moment when the position in a given trajectory, possibly taken in a figurative sense, is maximal, but certainly not an individual taken from a collection and being optimal with respect to some criterium. ...
    – Did
    Feb 25 '16 at 10:38

le gratin, l'élite d'un groupe de personnes.

le premier choix de ce qu'il y a en magasin.

le meilleur de tous.

le dessus du panier, le top du top,


If you only want expressions that litteraly only mean "The best element of any set", with no context for the set, here are my suggestions : Keep in mind that you can basically look for synonyms of any of them for a list on the net. If you look for a particular connotation, please precise it as there are plenty of it !

Serious: - Le maître / le leader - La fine fleur - Le fin du fin - Le nec plus ultra - La quintessence - Le meilleur, le primordial, l'essentiel, Le majeur

Slang or common : - Le maestro - Le top (du top, optional superlative) - Le best - Le Numéro Un / Le Number One / Le Numero Uno - Le boss - Le dieu

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