I want to translate the following:

They don’t call it The Mile High City for nothing.

My attempt:

On ne l’appelle pas The Mile High City pour rien.

Is that how I would translate it in this context?

  • 3
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    – Aubreal
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 14:19
  • as a native French speaker, it sounds correct.
    – RomainL.
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 12:42

3 Answers 3


Your attempt is correct. The most idiomatic translation would still use pour rien but a slightly different way :

Ce n'est pas pour rien qu'on l'appelle The Mile High City.

  • I think this expression sounds closer to the point I wanted to get across, thank you so much. Commented May 21, 2019 at 18:33

That's it. You might also say, although it's not as literal a translation,

"Ce n'est pas sans raison qu'on l'appelle The Mile High City.", or

"Si on l'appelle The Mile High City, c'est pour une bonne raison.".


My favorite French phrase for this is "pour des prunes," as in

On ne l'appelle pas The Mile High City pour des prunes.


Ce n'est pas pour des prunes qu'on l'appelle The Mile High City.

For reference:



Axiom Cafe

  • 1
    Interesting, I hadn’t heard of this! Thank you! Commented May 22, 2019 at 7:18
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    @LPH Tu as une définition bien étrange de la vulgarité...
    – jlliagre
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 7:28
  • 3
    @LPH Tu dois être le seul. C'est une expression populaire mais elle n'a rien de vulgaire (dans le sens commun actuel de grossier).
    – jlliagre
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 7:56
  • 4
    Personnellement, je ne parlerai pas de vulgarité mais de péjoration. L'expression connue "Faire quelque chose pour des prunes". Il y a un sentiment de "perte de valeur" associé. Au contraire, dans la question initiale, le "pour rien" à plutôt une connotation neutre/valorisante ("On ne m’appelle pas l'as du volant pour rien", par exemple.)
    – Fana
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 9:21
  • 2
    Jérémy, ce n'est pas du tout vulgaire. LPH a parfois des opinions absconses...
    – jlliagre
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 19:52

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