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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 today's curious French expression and it requires silence.The expression is used to describe someone who refuses to share information about a certain...

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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 navet (with silent t) is French for turnip.  But what would you make of it if you heard the phrase at the Cannes Film Festival?It so happens that, by a...

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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 is used figuratively to describe a person with heightened sensitivity.  It can be used as a semi-compliment to characterize someone who is easily moved...

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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 plan!  Tenir is to hold and une chandelle is an old word for une bougie, a candle.To hold the candle means to be the third wheel, i.e. the unwanted person...

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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

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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
La Bûche de Noël

La Bûche de Noël

Head into any pastry shop in France in December, and you’ll find a number of incarnations of the...

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December 25, 2021
Tout sucre, tout miel

Tout sucre, tout miel

Tout sucre tout miel in English

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December 15, 2021
Trempé comme une soupe

Trempé comme une soupe

Trempé comme une soupe in English

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December 7, 2021
Avoir la gueule de bois

Avoir la gueule de bois

Avoir la gueule de bois

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Claire BARTHELEMY
November 29, 2021
Traîner des casseroles

Traîner des casseroles

Frequently used in politics, the expression is one for the image conscious. It translates...

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November 29, 2021
Faire un froid de canard

Faire un froid de canard

Il fait un froid de canard

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November 23, 2021