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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)?

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    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". – Vérace 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
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Here are some options-

Serious:

  • 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:-) – WestOfPecos 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... – Vérace 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
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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,

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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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