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I have heard the following dialogue in the TV series Marseille:

  • Politician: De toute façon, t'as aucune chance.
  • Mayor: Parce que je suis sorti de la campagne ? Attends que j'y revienne.
  • Politician: Je vais aider Barrès à te foutre au tapis.

Context: The mayor of Marseille is negotiating with a politician his support in the municipal elections against his former ally and current opponent Lucas Barrès.

What does "foutre quelqu'un au tapis" mean? "to beat someone" (in the context of a competition) ?

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Foutre au tapis is slang for the expression mettre au tapis which means literally "to put someone on the carpet / on the floor" (i.e. to put someone down). It originates in combat sports such as boxing where when you are au tapis, the referee starts to count and you are out if you don't stand up before 10 is reached.

There is also aller au tapis which means to fall down in such a context.

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  • I have never heard the expression "to put someone on the floor" in English. I assume the meaning of the French expression is "to beat someone" ? – Alan Evangelista Mar 23 at 0:26
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    That's the literal meaning, to put someone down if you prefer. It's different from to beat someone. – jlliagre Mar 23 at 0:41

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