The other day I was talking with friends some about a live performance of Led Zeppelin from 1969. A friend mentioned how inactive was the audience in front of a revolutionary performance. I said:

They're all sitting because they're shitting their breeches.

I know that sit and shit are not pronounced exactly the same but still they sound quite similar. So how one could convey above sentence keeping the metaphor but also the playing with the rhyme as well?

Saying something like

Ils sont tous assis parce qu'ils chient leurs culottes.

pass the former criterion but not the latter.

  • 3
    It's hard to give an objective answer but "Ils restent sur leur cul par ce qu'ils se font dessus" could work – vc 74 Nov 8 '20 at 7:15
  • 1
    Side-note: "chier" cannot be used transitively in that way. You should say "ils chient dans leur culotte". – Greg Nov 8 '20 at 11:06
  • ...or even better: ils se chient dans la culotte. – Greg Nov 8 '20 at 12:32
  • En bref : Ils ont été obligés de rester assis sur leur merde — Médical : Ils sont resté assis sur leurs exonérations — Constat familier : Ils ont eu le cul plein de merde sans avoir pu se lever … ⸮ (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_d'ironie ) – Personne Nov 9 '20 at 9:28

Ils sont sur le cul, ils se sont chié dessus !


To preserve the nice effects you might want to say this.

  • Ils sont tous sur le cul parce qu'ils tombent (de)/(sur le) cul.

(OALD) breeches short trousers/pants fastened above the knee.

(The Free Dictionary) shit (one's) pants. rude slang
By extension, to be very surprised.

reddit Shit his britches
"Britches" is an old word for an old fashioned kind of pants. It means "shit his pants" but uses britches for comedic effect. Commonly used either to describe someone who is scared, or someone who literally shit in >their pants

Breeches Breeches (/ˈbrɪtʃɪz, ˈbriː-/ BRITCH-iz, BREE-chiz) are an article of clothing covering the body from the waist down, with separate coverings for each leg, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles.

(wikipedia) The spelling britches is a spelling variant, not a corruption, dating from the 17th century. Presently, britches reflects a common pronunciation often used in casual speech to mean trousers or pants in many English-speaking parts of the world.

L'expression "tomber sur le cul"¹ (familier) s'utilise de façon métaphorique pour signifier "être très surpris (par un événement)". La locution fait référence au fait de s'asseoir, de se laisser aller, s'affaisser, par réflexe. On dit aussi "en rester sur le cul" ou "tomber sur le derrière".

Pinterest Mon Pastis Gascon : à tomber de cul.

(The variant "tomber de cul" can be heard in the region of Bordeaux and in Gascogne, so it is probably known over at least the south western part of France.)

¹ This dictionary stipulates this expression as merely colloquial but remain open to the fact that some people consider it to be quite coarse.

  • 1
    Tomber de cul is not French. – jlliagre Nov 8 '20 at 18:12
  • @jlliagre Oh que oui, c'est bien français, pas du plus beau ni du plus courant, mais français… – LPH Nov 8 '20 at 18:16
  • Et ca signifie ? – Laurent S. Nov 8 '20 at 18:22
  • @LaurentS. Eh bien, comme le dit ma réponse, ça signifie être très surpris, abasourdi. – LPH Nov 8 '20 at 18:25
  • 2
    C'est tomber sur le cul, non ? – Dimitris Nov 8 '20 at 18:36

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