Questions tagged [expressions-idiomatiques]

Phrases ou expressions dont les mots portent une signification différente du sens littéral.

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2answers
85 views

What is a French equivalent for the office slang phrase “knife and fork it ( the problem)”?

Please, help me to find an appropriate equivalent!
2
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1answer
61 views

Autre signification de “Fossoyeur” dans le nom du youtubeur “Le Fossoyeur de Films”?

Le Fossoyeur de Films est le nom d'un youtubeur Français qui parles de filmes. Je vois bien le sens littéraire de "Fossoyeur", mais comment le comprendre on contexte? Est-ce tout simplement ...
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1answer
30 views

Conveying “let's agree to disagree”

What are some common ways to convey in French: "Let's agree to disagree"? Is Disons qu'on est pas d'accord idiomatic?
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4answers
289 views

Traduction de l'anglais « man's man »

I On trouve une définition de « man's man » dans le dictionnaire anglais-français « Harrap's »; c'est « un vrai homme, un homme que les autres hommes admirent ». Cependant, dans cette source, ...
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2answers
33 views

Conveying “on board” (involved in a project or organization or working for a company)

The idiom "on board" may be used to imply involvement in a project or organization, or working for a company. E.g. Welcome to the team. It’s great/nice/good to have you on board. What are ...
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2answers
42 views

Conveying “to be in someone's good books”

The idiom "to be in someone's good books" means (informally) to be in a state in which one is liked or are treated nicely by someone. For example: He's trying to get back in his boss's good ...
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3answers
768 views

Is there an equivalent to “virtue signaling” in French?

English idiomatic expressions aren't easily translatable in French... I thought of "vertu ostentatoire" but a single word would be good.
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5answers
187 views

Conveying “off your rocker” (slang for silly, crazy)

If you say (informally) that someone is off their rocker, you mean that that person is crazy, silly, etc.. E.g. You're off your rocker if you think I'm going to climb that mountain. How can one ...
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1answer
54 views

Is “Le poids de l'entourage” a French idiom or expression?

I was reading a French text and saw this sentence: Le poids de l'entourage est parfois difficile à gérer dans l'éducation de ces enfants but I have a feeling that the translation is very odd, so I ...
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1answer
132 views

How to convey “to teach someone the ropes”

The idiom to teach someone the ropes means to teach someone how to do something, especially a job. E.g. "Jack has been here for years – he’ll show you the ropes." Trying to convey the ...
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10answers
93k views

When to use 'je te kiffe'?

Recently I read a question on how to say I like you in French. None of these answers provided the expression 'je te kiffe', although I'm quite sure it is used very often. Is there a different context ...
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1answer
81 views

“Trente-deux positions” in Inventaire by Jacques Prévert

I'm reading the poem Inventaire by Jacques Prévert, where I think I am able to understand most of its meaning (superficial as it may be), except a phrase in the second-to-last stanza: deux sœurs ...
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3answers
76 views

Usage de “l’avenir appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt”

Searching how to convey in French the meaning of the English idiom the early bird catches the worm I found l'avenir appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt. E.g. The admissions in this college get filled ...
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2answers
178 views

Usage de “La madeleine de Proust”

L'expression la madeleine de Proust http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/une-madeleine-de-proust.php est une expression qui parle de quelque chose qui déclenche le mémoire. (un déjà-vu). Peut-on ...
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1answer
91 views

Usage of “hier” to convey “yesterday” as in “I need this report yesterday”

Yesterday has an idiomatic usage which is basically a synonym for "as soon as possible". I need those reports, and I need them yesterday. ≈ I need them ASAP. We want to see them in a ...
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2answers
569 views

Conveying “out of the blue” (completely unexpected)

If something happens out of the blue, it is completely unexpected; e.g. I hadn’t heard from Georges for years; then I got a letter out of the blue. Google Translate gives Je n'avais pas entendu ...
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2answers
80 views

Conveying “Go bust”

The idiom "go bust" (informal) means to spend or lose all of one's money; to go broke. If a company goes bust, it goes bankrupt. Linguee gives faire faillite as translation but it sounds to ...
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2answers
178 views

“Greener pastures” and “pâturages plus verts”

He worked there for two years before leaving for greener pastures. He decided it was time to move on to greener pastures. "Greener pastures" is an idiom meaning a new better, more ...
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4answers
140 views

Comment exprimer/transposer « (like) a fly in amber » ?

Captain's log, supplemental. We remain like a fly in amber trapped in the void. We have encountered a vessel which appears to be the USS Yamato. All its systems are shown as functioning, yet it ...
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3answers
67 views

Translation of “two for one”

Is there a French expression for "killing 2 birds with 1 stone?" I believe that in general, "2 for 1" (e.g. there is a 2 for 1 sale on t-shirts) comes from that English idiom.
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2answers
59 views

“entre le marteau et l'enclume”

Pour traduire : It's difficult to see how to get out of this situation because we're between a rock and a hard place. j'ai dis : Il est difficile de voir comment sortir de cette situation car οn ...
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3answers
119 views

Est-ce que « laisse tomber » est impoli ou agressif ?

Je me plante toujours quand je veux dire “never mind” en français. Par exemple, l’autre jour, j’étais à la caisse chez Monoprix et je voulais chercher quelque chose que je m'étais rendu compte avoir ...
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1answer
81 views

Conveying “bigger than life”

The other day I was talking about Freddie Mercury. I wanted to convey: Having an outrageously flamboyant stage persona he was a larger-than-life artist. I said Ayant un personnage de scène ...
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1answer
243 views

Is there a similar saying to “a drowning man will clutch at a straw” in French?

It is about someone who is in a very difficult situation, and who will take any available opportunity to improve it An example: Facing the possibility that his marriage might be over, John began ...
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2answers
154 views

J'ai bouffé du classique

In the movie Blind Date/Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément, there is the following line: "Mon père était concierge à l'opera. J'ai bouffé du classique toute en mon enfance." Is "J'ai bouffé ...
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2answers
76 views

The meaning of “v. Prendre le seum”

In the French song "On fleek", Eva said "T'as pris le seum et tu t'agites" so what's the meaning of this sentence and what's the difference between "v.avoir + le seum" &...
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2answers
45 views

The meaning of the french verb “Zoner” & the adjective “tanqué”

In the French song "On fleek", Eva said "Reste avec tes grosses folles, t'es bon qu'à zoner", so what's the meaning of "zoner" in this phrase and in general too and what'...
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2answers
103 views

The meaning of “se faire”

What's the meaning of "se faire" or "me faire" ? Il me fait le philosophe. I want to know the meaning of this sentence.
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2answers
219 views

Conveying “How come…?” (expressing complain)

Deepl/Google Translate convey how come idiom in questions expressing complain like How come nobody's ever on time to meetings? as Comment se fait-il que personne ne soit jamais à l'heure aux ...
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2answers
42 views

What is the meaning of “grand large”

I encountered the expression des ballades au grand large. What does it mean? What is its etymology?
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1answer
56 views

How does “du balai” get to mean “go away”?

I believe the expression "du balai" means literally "of the broom". How did it acquire the meaning of "go away!" or "get lost!"?
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2answers
89 views

What's the meaning of “C'est le sancho” ?

What's the meaning of "C'est le sancho"? I want to know the meaning of this French expression.
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10answers
17k views

“It is what it is” in French

According to https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it+is+what+it+is this idiomatic expression is used to talk about the The situation, circumstance, or outcome (that) has already happened or been ...
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6answers
10k views

Vouloir dire charrette?

Il y a une expression que j'entends parfois et dont je ne connais pas l'origine ni la signification (que j'imagine malgré tout être quelque chose du genre "Le travail n'est pas terminé ou bien la ...
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1answer
75 views

Sauter - idiomatic meanings

Donnez au croupier la possibilité de sauter tout seul ! This use of 'sauter' seems to imply an idiomatic meaning, something like get himself in a fix, or give himself a length of rope Or does it ...
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3answers
165 views

Emploi de “frappe, mais écoute” ('strike, if you will; but hear') (grec: pataxon men, akouson de)

En grec ancien, on dit πάταξον μέν, ἄκουσον δέ (pataxon men, akouson de) = strike, if you will; but hear = frappe, mais écoute Voici un peu de contexte historique : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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2answers
1k views

C'est la fête du slip

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.)
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2answers
187 views

When did the expression “dernier cri” start to be used in the context of fashion trends?

In a recent question in the Spanish language site we have debated about the origin of the Spanish expression último grito in the context of fashion trends. The first examples of it seem to come from ...
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1answer
75 views

What's the meaning of “Bien sûr je veux mon palais mais racontez pas vos salades”

I cannot understand what the meaning of "Bien sûr je veux mon palais mais racontez pas vos salades" is. I could not understand the first part of the phrase because I know that "raconter des salades" ...
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2answers
105 views

Mettre du beurre dans les épinards

After doing some light research I found idiomatic translations such as we could use the extra to grease the wheels make lemons into lemonade put butter on your bread I'm somewhat confused. I ...
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3answers
286 views

Can “ Du coup” render “By the way”?

I came across this question: How to translate “By the way”? — Comment traduire « By the way » ? I wanted to answer it by mentioning "du coup" but I was not sure. I think it is not ...
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1answer
46 views

Expression I cannot figure out

In the phrase Les garçons ont passé leur examen et tous l'ont eu. I understand that it means The boys took their tests and all of them passed. But what I can't figure out is what is the ...
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1answer
131 views

How to say “I'm leaving France”?

I was reading the following article about the different types of "leaving". It is still unclear to me how to say "I am leaving France". Google trans gives me Je quitte la France. ...
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7answers
8k views

Regarder ou écouter la télévision?

Les français ont tendance à parler dire "regarder la télévision" et les québécois "écouter la télévision". On peut bien sûr ne faire que regarder si le son est coupé ou ne faire qu'écouter en ne ...
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1answer
68 views

What is « en » in « J'en ai marre de » ?

Je sais que en général le pronom « en » peut remplacer la construction « de + nom. », donc, je suis un peu confus parce que dans la phrase « j'en ai marre de » on a déjà un « en », et je ne sais pas ...
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1answer
61 views

Is « j'allais » idiomatic in French?

In English, if we had intended to do something, but perhaps had not yet done it, we might say "I was going to do [that]." I've seen this translated literally in French when watching subtitled shows - «...
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5answers
1k views

How to convey the sense of “scare the bejesus out of me”

Scare the bejesus out of sb: to frighten, annoy, bore, etc. someone very much [Cambridge]. Scare the bejesus out of sb: To shock or frighten one very suddenly or severely. ("Bejesus," a mild ...
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1answer
74 views

Origine de l'expression « pain amer »

« Pain amer » seems to be a common enough expression that movies and books are given this title, and it is the subject of this wordplay of Camus' in La peste: La souffrance des enfants était notre ...
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7answers
4k views

Comment traduire « bigot » en français?

En anglais il existe le mot « bigot » (arrivant de l'exclamation « by God » — par Dieu) pour décrire une personne qui est intolérante, peut-être aux vues étroites, et qui n'hesite pas à exprimer ses ...
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2answers
108 views

Who would doubt it?

How does one render in French expressions such as "Who would doubt it?", "Who would think so?" More specifically, is it more appropriate to use the conditional tense (Qui douterait ça ?"), or the ...

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