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How would you translate or explain « la fête du slip »? Is it often used in French and in which situation? Is it a very rude expression? (I already know what « fête » and « slip » mean.)

3 Answers 3

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After a quick googling (e.g. https://dico-des-mots.com/definitions/la-fete-du-slip-ou-craquage-de-slip.html) one finds:

[Expression imagée] fête du slip (étymologie) :

(Familier) (Ironique) Décrit un comportement sans-gêne, une situation qui dégénère ou devient absurde, un relâchement total.

[That is, it describes a behavior without embarrassment, a situation that degenerates or becomes absurd, a total relaxation.]

An example of a sentence:

Avec ce gouvernement, c’est vraiment la fête du slip tous les jours !

(cf. wiki)

More information about the origin of the expression is provided below:

http://www.linternaute.com/expression/langue-francaise/13975/fete-du-slip/

[An attempt to translate:]

A popular expression among young people, it derives its meaning from chamber music organizations. The organization and storage must be impeccable and nothing should exceed (especially not underwear!). However, when the end of the service arrived, the military rebelled against the authority by organizing "underpants", decorated the garrisons of underwear and had absurd behavior to challenge the military.

For still more information concerning the so-called event (!) "Fête du slip" described in the last paragraph see the link below:

http://www.feteduslip.org/origine-definition

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    I didn't think it could be in a dictionary. Thank you for your help, your last link feteduslip.org is certainly not to be taken seriously though.
    – John James
    May 16, 2018 at 22:07
  • Based on this, I think the Americans would talk about a "dumpster fire".
    – Circeus
    May 17, 2018 at 2:50
  • I think you missed the "Is it often used in French ?" in your answer ;)
    – Random
    Mar 10, 2019 at 12:58
  • @Random N'étant pas locuteur natif, je ne peut y répondre:-)1
    – Dimitris
    Mar 10, 2019 at 13:01
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To supplement Dimitris' excellent answer

Is it often used in French and in which situation?

It is not an expression you will hear all the time, but it is used form time to time. This to say that it is not a dying expression, just one you would use judiciously.

To give you an idea, in a professional setting I heard it a few times over the last years, and used it once or twice.

Is it a very rude expression?

No it is not rude. It is intended to be funny, in a circle you know. Macron would not say it on TV, he may use it during a closed meeting.

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"slip" means underwear in French. "Fête du slip" can be translated as underwear celebration. It can be construed as the celebration of something absurd and senseless, where common sense is forcefully banished. This is a typical criticism of governmental decisions nowadays, local bureaucracy or network-propelled idiots in organizations

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