I'm looking for an idiom which corresponds to the English "He's got more front than Harrods". The phrase implies more than just self-confidence, but someone cheeky/brazen who will 'try it on'.

I could use "Il est effronté/éhonté", or maybe "Il est audacieux" but would prefer something more casual and idiomatic.

2 Answers 2


Here are some equivalents, roughly sorted from the more polite to the more vulgar. Some have nuances, but all means more or less "He is acting without any fear of the public opinion, because he has a too high opinion of himself"

  1. Il est très cavalier.

  2. Il est sans-gène.

  3. Il a du culot / Il est culotté.

  4. C'est un cow-boy.

  5. Il est gonflé.

  6. Il a les chevilles enflées.

  7. Il se la pète / c'est un péteux.

  8. Il ne se sent plus péter.

  9. Il ne se prend pas pour de la merde.

1,4 are more to qualify the brash way of acting of someone.

6,7,8, are more to qualify the over-confidence of someone, whithout the "try it on" notion

2,3,5 seems closer to what you are looking for. Note that there is a subtle difference since 3 can sometimes be used in a non-pejorative way, whereas 2 and 5 are always pejorative.

  • Thanks for the selection and further qualification of the phrases, especially useful ordered by vulgarity!
    – Arronical
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 10:39
  • 1
    @PapaPoule: you are absolutely right, I am adding "culotté" to this list. Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 8:08
  • "Il est gonflé" could fit as well. It's widely used and, though colloquial and informal, not vulgar at all.
    – Chewie
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:23
  • I would add the belgicism "Dikkenek", translating litterally in French to "Gros-cou".
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 20:57
  • @LaurentS.: I have never seen this anywhere except in the movie of the same name, and am not aware enough about what its exact meaning is to add it to my answer. You can post your own if you want. Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 8:05

"Il se la pète" is quite a common colloquial idiom for an arrogant person.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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