French Language Blog

Parlez-vous Français?: A Study of French Expressions (Part 3) Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Vocabulary

Let’s discover some more French expressions, some of which may be completely foreign to you.

**Phrase in parentheses is the literal translation, or as close to it as possible.**

Il fait un temps de chien! (It a dog time!) – It’s very bad weather!

Coincer le bulle (Trapping the bubble) – Not doing anything, relaxing.

Par monts et par vaux (By mountains and valleys) – On the move.

Avoir les dents longues (Having long teeth) – Being very ambitious.

Casser sa pipe (Breaking one’s pipe) – Dying.

Tuer la poule aux œufs d’or (Killing the chicken with the golden eggs) – To trade long term benefits  for immediate profits.

Avoir le nez creux (Having a hollow nose) – Having good intuition.

Être un as (Being an ace) – Being the best at something.

Boire du petit lait (Drinking little milk) – To feel satisfied upon receiving compliments.

Pot aux roses (Pot of roses) – A secret or a mystery.

À tombeau ouvert (At open tomb) – Going way too fast.

Mettre le feu aux poudres (Putting the fire to the powder) – Stirring up trouble or aggravating a situation.

S’ennuyer comme un rat mort (Bored like a dead rat) – Being very bored.

Clouer le bec (Nailing the beak) – Silencing someone.

Garder son sang-froid (Keeping one’s blood cold) – Remaining calm or maintaining self-control.

Avoir bon dos (Having good back) – Being easy to blame.

Le roi n’est pas son cousin (The king is not his/her cousin) – He/She is happier than a king.

Sucrer les fraises (Sweetening the strawberries ) – To have shaky hands (referring to the action of sprinkling sugar on strawberries).

Il n’y a pas un chat (There isn’t a cat) – The place is empty or there’s no one here.

Donner carte blanche (Giving the white card) – Giving someone authority to do anything.


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