I said jokingly:

Donald Trump may have become a poster child for the concept, "... can dish it out but ... can't take it. If you google it up, you'll be surprised to see Trump's name turn up everywhere, along with that phrase! The same phenomenon with the austeilen-einstecken German word combination!

I wonder what is an idiomatic French expression for this concept – hopefully something that will pop up with Trump's name!

  • Il n'y a pas d'expression aussi idiomatique en français. En général on exprime l'idée par "il sait frapper mais il a du mal à encaisser (ou "il encaisse mal (les coups) )", je ne vois pas/trouve pas d'expression directement lié au contexte trumpien.
    – None
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 18:19
  • @Laure Hi. I think you're on the right track here. The "encaisser" does correspond to the German "einstecken". Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 18:49
  • Comme en allemand on peut aussi faire le parallélisme "donner des coups" / "encaisser des coups". Mais je n'arrive pas à trouver d'expression récurrente liée spécifiquement à Trump.
    – None
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 18:54
  • @Laure I hardly expect French papers to carry mundane front-page headlines like "Trump ne supporte pas qu'on le critique". So I thought there might well be some trademark expression associated with this unfortunate temperament of Trump. :) Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


As said in other comments, there might not be something really idiomatic, but we can nonetheless offer some translations including more or less idiomatic/familiar/slang-ish words/expressions (admittedly not direct translations in several cases):

Il est prompt à frapper, mais il encaisse mal les coups.

Il cogne, mais il n'encaisse pas bien (les coups).

Il cogne à tort et à travers, mais il se dégonfle dès que ça tourne mal pour lui.

Il cogne à tort et à travers, mais il est fragile quand on l'attaque.

Il cherche les emmerdes, mais il se dégonfle dès que ca barde.

Il joue au dur, mais c'est une mauviette.

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