1

The greatest invention of all time, hands down, bar none, period!

This is a hyperbolic expression, with each of the three phrases separated by commas serving to emphasise the idea of something deserving superlatives.

I wonder what is the idiomatic French equivalent of this expression?

  • Hi. Could you provide some links explaining it in English? That can be interesting for people like me who is not so fluent. – lemon Sep 23 '17 at 8:01
  • @lemon Hi. I don't think there is a dictionary entry covering all these three as a single set expression. As for the meaning of each, tlombart offers a comprehensive explanation. :) Another variant is: "hands down, bar none, end of story!" or "hands down, bar none, the best!". – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Sep 23 '17 at 9:14
6

The period ! one is the easiest to translate : you can say point final ! to close an argument in French. This is the same as it is in English, it refers to the punctuation mark, and can be used similarly.

Je t'ai demandé d'aller te coucher, point final !


Hands down actually translates to the opposite in French : haut la main. Facilement, or its more familiar form facile are equally used I guess. Another translation could be les doigts dans le nez, although it doesn't fit in this context of superlative.

Il a réussi le test haut la main
C'est facilement le garçon le plus beau de la pièce !
Il les a facile tous battus
J'ai réussi les doigts dans le nez


Regarding bar none, the easiest translation is sans exception.

C'est le meilleur, sans exception


Now, if you want to say all three as an idiomatic expression in French, I don't believe there is an super-hyperbolic expression consisting of 3 other hyperbolic expressions. I guess you will have to stick to only one of these... This is my best attempt at a literal translation :

C'est sans exception la meilleure chose jamais inventée, point final !

  • 1
    Hi. How do you feel about "C'est de loin la meilleure chose jamais inventée, un point c'est tout !"? :) – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Sep 23 '17 at 9:02
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    I'd also suggest "point barre", but I also like Alone-zee solution. Anyway "il les a facile tous battus" is not correct. – Distic Sep 23 '17 at 9:10
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    @Alone-zee : Yes, even if I prefer if with a comma : "point, à la ligne". But it exists without it also (just because people say it to fast). – Distic Sep 23 '17 at 9:40
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    @Alone-zee c'est de loin is a great translation i didn't think of ! it would be corresponding to hands down in English, i guess. un point c'est tout and point, à la ligne are variants of point final and all three mean the same and can be used similarly. point, à la ligne strangely reminds me of a dictation exercise and therefore i'm not sure it would fit the hyperbolic context here. à la ligne also suggests something else is coming after ! another paragraph or statement ! whatsoever it is very much understandable – tlombart Sep 23 '17 at 13:43
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    @Distic I agree with tlombart here. Facile used as an adverb (for facilement) is common colloquial French, and not only in Southern France. E.g. Jean-Michel Baudouin a déclaré au micro d'Equidia : "L'autre jour, il a gagné facile. C'est encore le cas ici. Il a eu une course sage..." – jlliagre Sep 23 '17 at 15:33
5

C'est de loin la plus grande invention de tous les temps, il n'y a pas photo !

  • 1
    Hi. What do you think about mixing and matching "de loin" and "il n'y a pas photo"? "C'est de loin la meilleure chose jamais inventée, il n'y a pas photo !" – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Sep 23 '17 at 9:23
  • It sounds good. – jlliagre Sep 23 '17 at 9:24
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    +1 for connecting (just as "hands down" does in English) the notion of an easy win to the "Sport of Kings." – Papa Poule Sep 23 '17 at 14:33

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