April 25, 2010


Oh how I love idiomatic expressions in French. Xavier was given a great gift: a book of running idioms between English and French. The premise is to take a French expression, find its literal translation and an equivalent expression in English. The result is hilarious.

Nous sommes comme culs et chemises!
We are like arses and shirts. (We are best friends).

C'est du tout cuit!
It's all cooked. (It's in the bag!)

Ce n'est pas demain la veille.
It is not tomorrow the day before. (We're not about to do it).

Je n'ai pas la frite! (or) Je n'ai pas la pêche! (or) Je n'ai pas la patate!
I don't have the french fry. I don't have the peach. I don't have the potato. (I'm not in great form).

C'est la fin des haricots.
It is the end of the beans. (It's the last straw).

Tu vas marcher à la baguette.
You will walk at the stick. (I will rule you with an iron hand).

Ça ne mange pas de pain.
It doesn't eat bread. (It is not important).

Mettez le paquet.
Put the package! (Pull out all the stops!)

Minute papillon!
Minute butterfly. (Wait a minute!)

Vous arrivez entre la poire et la fromage.
You arrive between the pear and the cheese. (You have arrived at the wrong moment).

Et ta sœur?
And your sister? (Mind your own business).

J'ai d'autres chats a fouetter.
I have other cats to whip. (I have other fish to fry).


Jill said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning!

Brad said...

These are great. I loved them. Thanks for sharing.

Rebekah V. said...

I am practicing every one of these. (In engish and french.) This is my idea of fun.

Gabriela said...

I'm going to need a copy of this book immediately. Not only to have a laugh, but also to pick up some idiomatic expressions.

Avo said...

Hello, just stumbled in...

If you liked that you might also like Chifflet's book called Sky my husband. It uses the same premise.
Here's an amazon link:

Apparently, a board game was made out of it... I expect you wouldn't need to to buy it, just having the book would be enough. here's a link to info on the boardgame:


Laurie S said...


D1Warbler said...

My French education was evidently severely lacking. I missed all these delightful expressions.

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