French Idiomatic Expressions – 4

French Idiomatic Expressions – 4

 

301- Daily French Expressions: avoir une araignée au plafond: to get a screw loose

Il a une araignée au plafond ce type: this guy gets a screw loose!

302- Daily French Expressions: traviole: crooked

Il fait tout de traviole: he does everything wrong
La maison est de traviole: the house is crooked

303- Daily French Expressions: 36 (trente-six): never or many

Il n’y a pas 36 solutions: there are not many solutions.
ça fait 36 fois que je te le dis, tu n’écoutes pas: I have told you that fifty times, you are not listening!
Je l’appelle tous les trente-six du mois: I call him once in a blue moon.

304- Daily French Expressions: le trognon: the core or cute.

Ils m’ont eu jusqu’au trognon: they had me good and proper!
Il est trognon ce bébé: this baby is so cute.

305- Daily French Expressions: la tronche: face, mug

Quelle tronche tu fais ce matin! What a face this morning!
Il a vraiment une sale tronche: he’s got a nasty face.
Tu arrêtes de tirer la tronche? would you stop making a face?

306- Daily French Expressions: vachement: really

C’est vachement bon: it is really good.
C’est vachement plus grave: it is much more serious.

307- Daily French Expressions: en vadrouille: out on a ramble

Je suis souvent en vadrouille: I am often out wandering
Le film baby’s day out se dit bébé part en vadrouille en français: the movie babay’s day out is bébé part en vadrouille in French.

308- Daily French Expressions: avoir des valises sous les yeux: to have bags uneder one’s eye

Je n’ai pas dormir, j’ai des valises sous les yeux: I did not sleep, I have bags under my eyes
The correct word is “cerne” (ring), we also say avoir des poches sous les yeux.

309- Daily French Expressions: être vénère: to get on one’s nerves

Je suis vénère, qui a cassé ça? I am very irritated, who broke this?
vénère is slang verlan and comes from énerver.

310- Daily French Expressions: le violon: the cells

J’ai passé la nuit au violon: I spent the night in the cells
Of course, the first meaning is violin.

311- Daily French Expressions: un trouillard: a yellowbelly, a fearful person

Reviens, ce n’est qu’un chien, quel trouillard! come back, it is just a dog, what a yellowbelly!
Tu es une vraie trouillarde, c’est une petite souris: you really are a yellowbelly, it is little mouse!

312- Daily French Expressions: sortir de son trou: to go out of one’s backyard.

Elle n’est jamais sorti de son trou: she has never been out of her own backyard.
Arrête de regarder la télé et sors de ton trou: stop watching tv and go out!

313- Daily French Expressions: raplapla: so tired, done in (also flat).

Je me sens tout raplapla aujourd’hui: I feel so tired today!
J’ai les cheveux raplapla, j’ai besoin d’un shampoing: my hairs are flat, I need a shampoo!
We also say ratapla.

314- Daily French Expressions: ne pas avoir les yeux en face des trous: not to see something obvious.

Il est sur la table! tu n’as pas les yeux en face des trous? It is on the table! just under your nose!

315- Daily French Expressions: Ne pas avoir froid aux yeux: to be adventurous

Tu as dit ça au patron? tu n’as pas froid aux yeux! you said that to the boss? I have yo say you have somo nerve.
Je ‘ai pas froid aux yeux, j’aime prendre des risques: I am pretty adventurous, I like to take risks.

316- Daily French Expressions: la zappette: tv remote control

La zappette, c’est pour zapper! the remote control is for zapping!
J’utilise la zappette quand il y a la pub: I use the remote control during ads.

317- Daily French Expressions: zarbi (bizarre): strange, odd

Ce type, il est un peu zarbi, tu ne trouves pas? this guy is a bit strange, don’t you think?
Tu es vraiment zarbi: you are so freaky!

318- Daily French Expressions: Zinzin: nuts

Tu ne serais pas un peu Zinzin? would not you be a bit nuts?
Elle le rend complètement zinzin:  she is driving him scatty!

319- Daily French Expressions: accro: addicted, hooked

Je suis accro au vélo: I am a bike-addicted
Il est accro à elle: He is hooked on her.

320- Daily French Expressions: à donf (à fond): like crazy, full on

Il roule à donf: he drives like crazy
Tu es d’accord avec nous? – à donf: do you agree with us? totally!
J’ai mis la musique à donf: I put the music to the maximum.

321- Daily French Expressions: Une bonne femme (not always pejorative): a woman

Expressions with bonne femme:
Un remède de bonne femme : folk cure
Des histoires de bonnes femmes: folk stories.
Une recette de bonne femme: grand ma recipe.
Sa bonne femme lui a passé un savon: his old woman
C’est une drôle de bonne femme: she is a funny poor thing.

322- Daily French Expressions: le môme: kid

Quel sale môme: horrible little kid
On appelle la chanteuse Edith Piaf, la môme: The French singer Edith Piaf is called “la môme”.

323- Daily French Expressions: décrocher la lune: to move heaven and earth

Il décrocherait la lune pour sa femme: he would move heaven and earth for his wife.
J’irai décrocher la lune: I will do the impossible.

324- Daily French Expressions: une peau de vache: ratbag, fogey.

Mon patron, c’est une vraie peau de vache: My boss is a real ratbag!
Une jolie fleur dans une peau de vache (Brassens singer): a nice flower in a ratbag!

325- Daily French Expressions: un chameau: nasty kid, man etc…

Oh, mais quel chameau! What a nasty boy (girl)
Quel vieux chameau: What an old nasty man.
Chameau means camel and in this expression we only use the masculine form.

326- Daily French Expressions: le fiston: son

Ne dis rien à ta mère, fiston: don’t tell your mother, sonny.
Bonne chance, fiston: good luck, my son!
(there is no word for daughter)

317- Daily French Expressions: un câlin: a hug, cuddle

Un gros câlin à mon fiston: a big cuddle to my son!
J’ai besoin d’un câlin: I need a hug!

318- Daily French Expressions: grassouillet: podgy, pudgy.

La Top-modèle est un peu grassouillette: the top model is a bit podgy.
Un bébé bien grassouillet: a baby podgy.

329- Daily French Expressions: maigrichon: skinny

Je te trouve un peu maigrichon, tu n’es pas malade: I find you a little skinny, are you ill?

330- Daily French Expressions: des poignées d’amour: love handles

Je dois faire du sport, regarde mes poignées d’amour: I need to do more sport, look at my love handles!

331- Daily French Expressions: Addition salée: a steep bill.

L’addition (la note) est salée dans ce restaurant, ils font payer l’eau! The bill is steep in this restaurant, water is not free!
(in a restaurant in France, tap water and bread are free, law: n° 25-268 du 8 juin 1967).
You can also say: très chère, élevée, exorbitante. Colloquial: c’est chérot!

336- Daily French Expressions: Les poulets (chicken): Police

Atten2ion, voilà les poulets: be careful, here are the police.

333- Daily French Expressions: un voyou: a lout, a rascal

Bande de petits voyous! you little rascal!
Ceux qui ont fait ça sont des voyous: those whose made that are lout.

334- Daily French Expressions: l’auberge: inn, hotel, slang: jail

On n’est pas sorti de l’auberge: we are not out of the wood (the difficulties are not finished)
Auberge de jeunesse: Youth Hostel.

335- Daily French Expressions: une bagnole: a car (slang)

ça, c’est de la bagnole: this is what I call a car!
Ne touche pas à ma bagnole: hands off my car.

336- Daily French Expressions: être de bon poil: to be in a good mood

Fais gaffe, il n’est pas de bon poil: be careful, he is not in a good mood.
Mais tu es de mauvais poil ce matin: but you are in a bad mood this morning.

337- Daily French Expressions: dur à avaler: hard to take

Il a eu du mal à avaler la nouvelle: h found the news hard to take
Nous sommes virés? c’est dur à avaler: we are fired? it is hard to swallow.

338- Daily French Expressions: une gaffe: a blunder

Je crois que j’ai fais une gaffe: I think I made a blunder!
J’ai gaffé, je lui ai dit c’est quoi la surprise: I blundered, I told him what the surprise is.
However “fait gaffe” means ‘be careful’.

339- Daily French Expressions: Fais de beaux rêves: sweet dreams.

Bonne nuit, fais de beaux rêves: good night, sweet dreams!

340- Daily French Expressions: Avoir le trac, Avoir l’estomac noué: to have butterflies in the stomach

To have butterflies in the stomach: “avoir le trac” or “être nerveux” or “avoir l’estomac noué”. Je suis nerveux, j’attends les résultats de mon examen (I have butterflies waiting the results of my exam). J’ai le trac avant de chanter (I have butterflies before singing)

341- Daily French Expressions: a bad newspaper, a rag

Un chou is a cabbage , but in a colorful language, une feuille de chou is a rag.

342- Daily French Expressions: Il y a du monde au balcon: She is well stacked (endowed)

It is a funny expression (not a rude one) said by men of course! The meaning is “the balcony is full of people”.

343- Daily French Expressions: Avoir la banane: to have a big smile.

Aujourd’hui, j’ai la banane: today I have a big smile on my face.

344- Daily French Expressions: ce n’est pas de la tarte: it is not easy matter.

Cet exercice n’est pas de la tarte: this exercise is not easy matter.
ça ne va pas être de la tarte: it is not going to be easy!

345- Daily French Expressions: le panier à salade: paddy wagon, black maria.

Allez zou! tous dans le panier à salade: get a move on! everybody in the police van!

346 – Daily French Expressions: ça va barder: things are going to get hot!

Arrête sinon ça va barder! Stop or sparks are going to fly!
Meaning: it is becoming dangerous.
You can also say: ça va chauffer!

347 – Daily French Expressions: le baratin: sweet talk, sales talk

Quel baratin, elle parte trop et on ne comprend rien: what a chatter, she is speaking too much and we don’t understand anything!

348 – Daily French Expressions: un bavard, une bavarde: chatterbox, talkative

Il est bavard comme une pie (magpie): he is a real chatterbox.

349 – Daily French Expressions: BCBG: Chic and conservative

An abbreviation for “bon chic bon genre”, it is a stereotype of upper middle class person with outward signs of wealth. We can say ‘posh’ but only for people.

350 – Daily French Expressions: oh la barbe! what a pain! how boring!

Oh la barbe, je m’endors: what a pain, I am falling asleep!
Ce type est vraiment barbant: this guy is just a bore!

351 – Daily French Expressions: Clair et net: perfectly clear

Le résultat des élections est clair et net: the results of the poll is quite clear.
Clair et net is very used in French.

352 – Daily French Expressions: Se mettre le doigt dans l’oeil: to be mistaken, to be off the subject.

Alors là, tu te mets le doigt dans l’oeil!: Now, you are totally mistaken.

353 – Daily French Expressions: un bidon, un bedon: belly, potbelly

J’ai un gros bidon (j’ai du bide), je dois faire de l’exercice: I have a potbelly, I need to take some exercice.

354- Daily French Expressions: Clouer le bec: to reduce someone to silence

Je lui ai cloué le bec une fois pour toute: I shut his mouth once for all!
( un bec is a beak, clouer is to nail)

355- Daily French Expressions: balle: euro

a balle is a bullet or a ball but is used in some expressions:
T’as pas cent balles: do you have 100 euros?
Une question à deux balles: an easy to reply question.
Une blague à deux balles: a stupid joke.

356- Daily French Expressions: Bio: organic

Aliments bio: organic food
Agriculture bio: organic farming

357- Daily French Expressions: du balai: clear off!

Donner un coup de balai: to make a clean sweep.
Coup de balai sur les prix: clean sweep on the prices!
Allez zou, du balai: off with you, clear off!

358- Daily French Expressions: hein? what?

Hein? tu as lu ça? What? did you read that?
Qu’est-ce que tu fais? hein? What are you doing, eh?

359- Daily French Expressions: Ze best = the best

We frenchify some English words: Instead of saying ‘the’, we say “ze” and it is not rare to hear “ze best”, “ze man” etc… a new brand exists in France a coffee shop called “Ze Bar”

360- Daily French Expressions: un truc de ouf: something mad or unbelievable

Tu as vu ce qu’il a fait avec son vélo? un truc de ouf! have you seen what he made with his bike? completely mad!
Ouf is the verlan for FOU: crazy, mad.

361- Daily French Expressions: le boucan: din, noise

C’est fini ce boucan? will you stop this noise?

362- Daily French Expressions: boucher un coin: to blow somebody’ mind

Alors là, tu m’en bouches un coin: now you are blowing my mind.

363- Daily French Expressions: un conducteur en herbe: a budding driver.

Herbe means grass, and we say “un écrivain en herbe” (a budding writer) etc…

364- Daily French Expressions: perdre la boule: to go nuts

Je ne sais pas où j’ai mis mes lunettes. – tu perds la boule mon ami! I don’t where I put my glasses. – you go nuts my friend.

365- Daily French Expressions: raconter des bobards: to tell lies

Arrête de raconter des bobards, personne ne te croit: stop telling lies, nobody believes you.

366- Daily French Expressions: un boulet: a millstone around one’s neck

Un boulet is a ball and chain.
Arrête de me suivre, tu es un vrai boulet: stop following me, you are a real millstone round my neck.

367- Daily French Expressions: bourré: drunk

Bourré means packed, you can say that a room is packed, une salle est bourré. It also means a lot of: il est bourré de fric: he is very rich.
And finally “bourré” means drunk!

368- Daily French Expressions: à la bourre: in a hurry

Je suis à la bourre: I am in a hurry!
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369- Daily French Expressions: la malbouffe: junk eating

This word comes from mal (bad) and bouffe (junk food), we use it to express how some people eat badly nowadays and the effects on the human body: en guerre contre la malbouffe: at war against junk food! The verb bouffer means to eat, it is slang but not rude and you can say it for any kind of food.
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370- Daily French Expressions: avoir la bougeotte: to fidget

Tu as vraiment la bougeotte: you are real fidget.
Bougeotte comes from the verb bouger: to move!

371- Daily French Expressions: la cerise sur le gâteau: cherry on the cake

C’est la cerise sur la gâteau, je ne m’y attendais pas: it is the cherry on the cake, I did not expect it.

372- Daily French Expressions: comme une lettre à la poste: without a hitch

Alors ron examen, comment ça s’est passé? – comme une lettre à la poste: well, your exam, how did it go off? – with no hitch!

373- Daily French Expressions: avoir la boule à zéro: to have a shaven head

Regarde! elle a la boule à zéro: look! she has a shaven head.
We also say: plus un poil sur le caillou (as bald as an egg)

374- Daily French Expressions: se voler dans les plumes: to make the feathers fly, to attack someone

Tais-toi, tais-toi, mais je vais lui voler dans les plumes: shut up, shut up, I am going to make the feathers fly!

375- Daily French Expressions: metro, boulot, dodo: the same daily routine

J’ai besoin de vacances pour fuir le metro, boulot, dodo: I need vacation to flee the same old daily routine, work, work, work

376- Daily French Expressions: la grasse mat: a lie-in

Demain, c’est dimanche, je fais la grasse mat jusqu’à 11h: tomorrow, Sunday, I will lie)in till 11am
Grasse mat is the abbreviation of la grasse matinée.

377- Daily French Expressions: Main, all the words (slang and popular) in French to say Hand

Les menottes, les mimines, la pince, la paluche, la pogne,: menottes and mimines are for children, instead of “se serrer la main” (to shake hands) you can say “se serrer la pince”. (we also use: pattes, louches)

378- Daily French Expressions: Pied, all the words (slang and popular) to say Foot in French:

Les pieds, les panards, les ripations, les petons.

379- Daily French Expressions: avoir le mot sur le bout de la langue: the word is on the tip of my tongue

Oh, c’est pas possible, je l’ai sur le bout de la langue, non, je ne me rappelle plus: Oh, it is not possible, I got it on the tip of my tongue, no, I can’t remember.

380- Daily French Expressions: sans queue ni tête: cock-and-bull

C’est une histoire sans queue ni tête: this is a cock-and-bull story
ça n’a ni queue ni tête, ce que tu dis: that’s just rubbish, what you are saying!

381- Daily French Expressions: avoir la langue pendue: to have the gift of gab, a bit of a gossip.

Ne lui dis rien car elle a la langue bien pendue: Don’t tell her anything, she has the gift of the gab!

382- Daily French Expressions: Donner sa langue au chat: to give up.

Je ne connais pas la réponse, je donne ma langue au chat: I d’ont know the answer, I give up.

383- Daily French Expressions: se faire remonter les bretelles:  to get a tongue-lashing, a dressing-down.

Le patron lui a remonté les bretelles: the boss gave him a dressing-down!

343- Daily French Expressions: brancher: fancy to do

ça te brancherait d’aller à la plage? Do you fancy to go to the beach?

385- Daily French Expressions: Avaler sa langue: to remain silent

Ben quoi? tu dis plus rien? t’as avalé ta langue? So? you don’t say a word? Did you swallow your tongue?
We also say “tu as perdu ta langue”.

386- Daily French Expressions: Faire la bringue: to have a party

Aujourd’hui c’est vendredi, ce soir on fait la bringue, youpi! Todays it is Friday, to nicht we will have a party, yippee!

387- Daily French Expressions: bricoler: to DIY

Moi ce week-end, je bricole: This week-end, I will make some DIY (little jobs at home)

388- Daily French Expressions: Avoir de la bouteille: to be around a long time

When someone has been working in the same field for a long time, he or she knows very well the job, so we say:

Elle or il a de la bouteille! (like a good wine, it takes time)

389- Daily French Expressions: le bouche à oreille: by word of mouth

Cela devait être du bouche à oreille, mais maintenant tout le monde le sait: it had to be confidential and now everybody knows it.

390- Daily French Expressions: un coup de pouce: a little help, a nudge

J’ai besoin d’un petit coup de pouce pour finir mon devoir, tu peux m’aider? I need a little help with my homework, could you help me?

391- Daily French Expressions: ça sent la cocotte: it smells too much like a cheap perfume

Une cocotte is a popular word for chicken and also woman.

Tiens, voilà Paul, hé Paul, ça sent la cocotte aujourd’hui, tu es tombé dans la bouteille de parfum? Look, here is Paul, hey Paul there is a strange smelling today, did you fall in the perfume bottle?

392- Daily French Expressions: se tourner les pouces: to twiddle one’s thumbs

En vacances, je me tourne les pouces: On holiday, I never know what to do.

393- Daily French Expressions: hélas: alas


We use “hélas” to express how we are sorry and our disappointment
Hélas, il ne viendra pas: I am afraid he won’t come.
Hélas oui! Yes, unfortunately.
Hélas, trois fois hélas:  Alas
Va-t-elle mieux? – hélas, non! Is she better? I am afraid not.
Hélas pour moi! Bad luck!

394- Daily French Expressions: un coup de soleil: a sunburn

J’ai attrapé un bon coup de soleil: I got sunburnt (in French: I caught a sunburn)

395- Daily French Expressions: le Farniente: lazing around

It is an Italian word we use in French, far: to do, niente: nothing!
Je fais du farniente sur la plage: I am lazing on the beach

396- Daily French Expressions: Au voleur: stop thief

You are on holiday in France and someone has stolen something to you,
to say “stop thief”: au voleur!
To call the police: 17 or 112 .

397- Daily French Expressions: Au secours, à l’aide: help!

Two expressions when something bad happens.
Pay attention to “à l’aide de” which means ‘with the help of”:
à l’aide de ma calculatrice, je peux finir rapidement: with the help of my calculator, I can finish quickly.
But: “les pompiers sont venus à l’aide de la grand-mère”: the firemen went and helped the old woman.

398- Daily French Expressions: Issue de Secours: Emergency Exit

The word “issue” in French has nothing to do with ‘issue’ in English, une issue is an exit or a solution.
This is the expression you can see written in France or also: Sortie de Secours.

399- Daily French Expressions: Porte de derrière: backdoor

Derrière means behind, back and also bottom, the today expression may be a play of words between backdoor and toilet door.

400- Daily French Expressions: baignade interdite: no swimming

Baignade comes from baigner: to bath, to swim.

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