Questions tagged [expressions-idiomatiques]

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

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3answers
75 views

Conveying “Give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I’ll eat for a lifetime.”

Is there a French equivalent of "Give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I’ll eat for a lifetime." ? I've seen one-to-one renderings but I'm wondering if it exists a ...
3
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3answers
102 views

Ce que c’est que

I’ve been seeing this construction in several oldish texts, for example in Nerval’s Faust: Je te donnerai le conseil court et bon d’en faire autant, afin de pouvoir, affranchi de tes chaînes, goûter ...
4
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2answers
1k views

C'est chaud = It's crazy ?

I have heard the following dialogue in the TV series Unité 42: J'arrive pas y croire. Bob... C'est chaud. Context: A team of murder investigators are talking about Bob, his fellow investigator who ...
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4answers
69 views

Is there a French equivalent of “on a Kick”?

One of the lesser used English definitions of kick is 5c: pursuit of an absorbing or obsessive new interest —usually used with on1 Is there a French equivalent? My French is super rusty, and I did ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Comment puis-je commencer un courrier?

Je suis à la recherche de quelques phrases utiles que je pourrais utiliser pour commencer un échange électronique avec quelqu’un sachant que je le connais déjà. Par exemple : Bonjour, Je reprends ...
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3answers
142 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! Edit: To "knife and fork" a problem, in the English language, means to "give it a try," perhaps without expecting good results, ...
2
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1answer
77 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 ...
2
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1answer
99 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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2answers
35 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
54 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 ...
2
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1answer
67 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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5answers
202 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 ...
2
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1answer
141 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 ...
4
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1answer
94 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
99 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
606 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
87 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 ...
3
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2answers
213 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 ...
2
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2answers
94 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 ...
2
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1answer
95 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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5answers
226 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
366 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
60 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
133 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
161 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
229 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
119 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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3answers
74 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
68 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
87 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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3answers
398 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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1answer
79 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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2answers
228 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" ...
2
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2answers
126 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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1answer
50 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 ...
2
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1answer
215 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. ...
3
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4answers
158 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 ...
4
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1answer
94 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 ...
2
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1answer
96 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 - «...
6
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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 ...
4
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1answer
113 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 ...
4
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2answers
121 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 ...
3
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1answer
92 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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3answers
209 views

Comment exprimer « to flip the script » ?

J'ai entendu l'expression anglaise (to) flip the script, « (slang) to reverse a situation, especially by doing something unexpected » (Wiktionnaire). Le contexte c'était la compétition et le style des ...
1
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1answer
235 views

Les expressions « « lâche-moi les baskets » et « s'accrocher aux basques de quelqu'un » sont-elles reliées ?

On a l'expression populaire « lâche-moi les baskets » pour « laisse-moi tranquille » (Larousse en ligne). Par ailleurs on a l'expression familière « se pendre, s'accrocher aux basques de quelqu'un » c'...
2
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4answers
81 views

“Basic conflict” en français?

"Basic conflict" semble être un faux ami (ça ne veut pas dire "un conflit basique/peu complexe"). On le voit dans cette étude : Harmful traditions create a basic conflict. [...] This is the basic ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Meaning of “valoir” in “Mieux vaut tard que jamais”

The phrase "Mieux vaut tard que jamais" is translated as "Better late than never". But what is the sense of the word "vaut" in the French phrase?
1
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1answer
72 views

Being on hold (on the phone)

(I've been trying off and on for decades to find the answer to this puzzle.) This question provides some useful guidance for talking about asking someone on the phone to chill for a bit. But I'm ...
2
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1answer
302 views

Swing la bacaisse dans l'fond d'la boîte à bois

Je voudrais savoir si il existe d'autres interprétations de l'expression «Swing la bacaisse dans l'fond d'la boîte à bois» que celle communément acceptée. Après avoir lu la question Origine du mot “...

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