French Language Blog

Parlez-vous Français?: A Study of French Expressions (Part 6) Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Grammar, Vocabulary

Have you had a chance to apply some of the French idioms we saw in previous posts? In parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 we covered a variety of expressions, many of which can be used in everyday language in one way or another. It may take a little time to become familiar with them, but you’re bound to find a few that stick out and that you might want to insert into your conversations with other French speakers.

If you haven’t found any aphorisms in the previous posts that appeal to you or that you deem useful, here are a few may that may suit your fancy.

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

La roue tourne (The wheel turns) – Things change/evolve.

Rouler sur l’or (Rolling on the gold) – To be very wealthy (similar to the expression “Rolling in the dough”).

Il y a anguille sous roche (There is eel under rock) – Something is hidden/Not everything is clear.

Mettre de l’eau dans son vin (Putting water in one’s wine) – Not exaggerating one’s ambitions.

Fort comme un Turc (Strong like a Turk) – Very physically strong or robust.

Manger avec les chevaux de bois (Eating with the wooden horses) – Having nothing to eat/Fasting.

C’est le bouquet! (It’s the bouquet!) – As if things couldn’t get any worse!

Rôtir le balai (Roasting the broom) – Living a life of debauchery.

Un pétard mouillé (A wet firecracker) – An important bit of information that turns out to be false.

Un chien regarde bien un évêque (A dog looks well at a bishop) – A person of high stature should not be offended by the looks of those of lower stature.

Avoir un poil dans la main (Having a hair in the hand) – Being very lazy.

Se noyer dans un verre d’eau (Drowning in a glass of water) – Being incapable of dealing with change.

N’y voir que du bleu (Only seeing blue) – Not being able to see or understand anything.

Avoir bon pied bon œil (Having good foot good eye) – Being healthy/vigorous.

La fleur au fusil (The flower on the rifle) – Doing something with enthusiasm, joy and/or courage.

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