I just heard this colloquial sentence:

Mon copain raffole de ma tarte. À chaque fois, il s’en remplit la panse à en faire craquer ses fonds de culotte !

The idea of "eating tarts to his heart's content" is expressed by the part "s’en remplit la panse", but I wonder exactly what meaning the subsequent phrase "à en faire craquer ses fonds de culotte" adds to the sentence?

Is it related somehow to a similar expression "user ses fonds de culotte" that is used almost always metaphorically?

  • 1
    remplir la panse is to stuff oneself. To eat to one's heart's content is very polite.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


Yes, that's a metaphor too, more precisely an hyperbole which suggests the friend has an immediate weight gain causing his pants seams to crack...

It is certainly related to the more common phrase user ses fonds de culotte.

I have never heard fonds de culotte outside this set expression.

  • Do you think this expression is similar to "his stomach bursting at the seams", though the part that is tearing is his pants, not his shirt? On another note: is it common to refer to mens pants as "culotte"? Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 14:02
  • 2
    @Alone-zee In France « culotte » is more for girls nowadays, but we kept the old word for old expressions and for talking about children underwear.
    – Larme
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 14:51
  • 1
    Indeed, before the French revolution, the culottes (breeches) were worn by healthy men while women were dressed with robes/jupes. An expression like porter la culotte makes that clear.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 20:09
  • He stuffs himself enough to split his britches.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 21:28

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