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Funny French Expressions Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Vocabulary

Recently, we’ve gone over French idioms and other common French expressions. But now let’s go over some funny French expressions that will have you laughing out loud (check out this post on the French equivalent of LOL–MDR).

Avoir le cafard

One of the most common French idiomatic expressions is a funny … if not odd… one that you’ll hear all over the place if you have an ear tuned to it. Avoir le cafard literally means to “have a cockroach.” But what it translates to is: “to have the blues/to be feeling a bit melancholy.” Interestingly enough, while cafard can mean “cockroach,” it has several other meanings in French as well as “the blues” or “melancholy,” including a “tattletale.”

Il ne fait pas beau et j’ai le cafard aujourd’hui, alors je n’ai pas envie de sortir de ma chambre!

(It isn’t nice out and I’ve got the blues today, so I don’t want to leave my room!)

Les carottes sont cuites

Les carottes sont cuites literally means “the carrots are cooked” but it really means that “it’s all over” or “what’s done is done.” A similar idomatic expression in English would be something like “the goose is cooked,” or “the jig is up.”

Ne vous inquietez pas. De toute facon, les carottes sont déjà cuites.

(Don’t worry about it. Anyway, what’s done is done.)


C’est la fin des haricots

C’est la fin des haricots literally means “it’s the end of the beans.” It most likely has a sad origin: the end of food supplies during periods of famine; so, while this expression sounds “funny,” it might be more fitting on a “sad” expressions list!  C’est la fin des haricots means “it’s the end of it all” or “there’s nothing left.” While this expression is similar to les carottes sont cuites, it has a stronger connotation.

Il a cassé avec moi. Je crois que cette fois c’est la fin des haricots.


Devenir chêvre

Literally meaning “to become a goat,” this expression means “to get worked up” or “to lose one’s cool.” If you’ve ever become so enraged you can’t keep it inside, well, according to the French, you’ve become a goat!

Il m’a fait perdu toute ma patience et je suis devenu chêvre!

(He made me lose all of my patience and I completely lost my cool.)

And to make this funny French expression post even funnier … here’s a video of a VERY angry goat.

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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!



    well done.