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

Il n'y a pas quoi de se branler.

Context: The candidate for mayor of Marseille Barrès have just won the first round of the elections and advanced to the second round with the city's former mayor. When he hears the news, he gets a round of applause from his supporters in his office, but he reacts with the sentence above because the election is not won yet.

What does "n' avoir pas quoi de se branler" mean? "to not get carried away"? How does this meaning relate to the pronominal verb "se branler" (= to masturbate)?

1 Answer 1


That is not really a common idiom in itself, but a metaphor on the meaning of se branler, which is a vulgar term for "to masturbate". It relates in the sense that masturbating is a pleasure one (usually...) "creates" on purpose and for oneself. In the context you mention, the mayor therefore compares self-congratulation of his supporters to masturbation.

You can understand it as "there is no reason to rejoice", "there is nothing to celebrate".

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