Carolyn Porter | Joys of The French Language
Check out this collection of fun French-language idioms and their English translations.
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, French language
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Joys of the French Language

I’ve come across delightful phrases in French. Have you studied French? If so, are there any favorites you’d like to add to the list?

French phrase: Les carottes sont cuites
Literal translation: The carrots are cooked
Meaning: The outcome of the situation cannot be changed

French phrase: Casser les oreilles
Literal translation: Breaking the ears
Meaning: A reference to a harsh noise, such as a bad singer or someone who nags

French phrase: Occupe-toi de tes oignons
Literal translation: Deal with your own onions
Meaning: Mind your own business

French phrase: Clouer le bec de quelqu’un
Literal translation: To nail someone’s beak
Meaning: To shut someone up

French phrase: Entre chien et loup
Literal translation: Between the dog and the wolf
Meaning: This is the point in time between dusk and twilight

French phrase: Arriver comme un cheveu sur la soupe
Literal translation: To arrive like a hair in the soup
Meaning: A reference to a completely irrelevant remark in a conversation

French phrase: Ne pas avoir inventé la poudre
Literal translation: Not to have invented gunpowder
Meaning: A reference to someone dumb

French phrase: Quand les poules auront des dents
Literal translation: When chickens have teeth
Meaning: Never

And my favorite:
French phrase: L’esprit d’escalier
Literal translation: The spirit of the staircase
Meaning: When you think of the perfect response after-the-fact, such as when you are leaving and are in the stairwell on your way out

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