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Se la couler douce

Se la couler douce

Je me la coule douce is a lovely expression which we hope you can still use for a few more days before the busy fall season kicks in.  It literally translates as I'm flowing myself softly, and means I'm taking it easy, I'm relaxing.  Couler means...

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Pédaler dans la choucroute

Pédaler dans la choucroute

This is another (weird) expression directly related to the Tour de France - which ended on July 24 this year.Pédaler dans la choucroute literally translates as pedaling in sauerkraut and means being entangled in a thorny situation, with the added...

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La lanterne rouge

La lanterne rouge

Être la lanterne rouge - to be the red lantern - means to come last in a ranking, or list. The expression is mostly used to describe a person, or group, trailing behind the others in a given situation.  The red lanterns are not just coming last,...

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Faire la grasse matinée

Faire la grasse matinée

What a luxury to pull a fluffy pillow over your ears while the birds break the silence of the night at the first light of day!  Faire la grasse matinée is one of the true pleasures in life - and certainly the most practiced sport among...

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Un Papa Gâteau

Un Papa Gâteau

Here is a legitimate question to ask on Father's day: is Dad un Papa Gâteau?Literally translated...

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June 15, 2022
La fin des haricots

La fin des haricots

Literally translated as the end of the beans, la fin des haricots usually comes with a sigh and...

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June 8, 2022
Un Violon D'Ingres

Un Violon D'Ingres

Un violon d'Ingres (silent s) is not to be confused with "un violon dingue"  (a crazy violin) -...

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May 24, 2022
Muet comme une carpe

Muet comme une carpe

Channel your inner fish and don't say a word.  Muet comme une carpe - mute as a carp - is...

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May 18, 2022
C'est un navet!

C'est un navet!

This phrase is something you wouldn't be surprised to hear at a farmer's market, since un...

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May 11, 2022
À fleur de peau

À fleur de peau

Here is an elegant and visual expression that will impress any audience.  Être à fleur de peau...

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May 4, 2022

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Tenir la chandelle

Tenir la chandelle

Tenir la chandelle may sound like an easy task but it can leave you desperate for an escape...

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April 19, 2022
Chanter comme une casserole

Chanter comme une casserole

Francophones seem particularly bothered by the clattering of saucepans and this has inspired a...

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April 13, 2022
Jeter l'eponge

Jeter l'eponge

Literally to throw the sponge, jeter l'éponge is the French equivalent of the English expression...

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April 6, 2022
Jouer l'Arlésienne

Jouer l'Arlésienne

This expression is a unique French idiom that translates literally to playing the girl from...

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March 29, 2022
Découvrir le pot aux roses

Découvrir le pot aux roses

This charming expression involves roses, presumably sitting in a planter - pot - which must have...

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March 8, 2022
Un autre son de cloche

Un autre son de cloche

Literally, the expression translates into another (a different) bell sound. When you strike or...

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March 1, 2022
Rire comme une baleine

Rire comme une baleine

Perhaps you have heard of La Vache Qui Rit - The Laughing Cow?  Well, move over Laughing Cow! ...

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February 22, 2022
Avoir le coup de foudre (pour...)

Avoir le coup de foudre (pour...)

Foudre means lightning, and un coup de foudre is a lightning bolt -  useful vocabulary if you're...

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February 15, 2022
Plein comme un oeuf

Plein comme un oeuf

Literally translated as, “full as an egg,” it is a colloquial simile applied to a thing or a...

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February 8, 2022
Le gratin

Le gratin

As cooks may already know, gratin is the generic French term for preparations (often involving...

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February 1, 2022
Chercher midi à 14h

Chercher midi à 14h

Admittedly, Einstein taught us that time is relative.  But looking for noon when it's 2pm seems...

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January 25, 2022
Un ange passe....

Un ange passe....

At first sight, all words in this expression are easy to translate from French into English: un...

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January 19, 2022
Pendre la Crémaillère

Pendre la Crémaillère

If you are invited to a pendaison de crémaillère, you may be surprised to find out this has...

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January 12, 2022
Mettre les pieds dans le plat

Mettre les pieds dans le plat

This French expression litterally translates as putting (one's) feet in the dish. In the...

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January 5, 2022
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