Expressions
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The French language presents a wide range of expressions and a colourful figurative language that can emphasize the situations of everyday life.
It is a real branch of language which is used often because it has an expressive strength that is more direct and incisive than normal language.
Most of the colourful expression of French use the most known figures of speech (similarities, metaphors, hyperboles, …).
Se regarder le nombril (To look at his/her own belly button)
To be egocentric or selfish

En faire tout un fromage (To make a cheese)
To make a lot of noise for nothing

Tomber dans les pommes (To fall in the apples)
To faint

A la Saint-Glinglin
To postpone to a far date

Poser un lapin (To give a rabbit)
To stand somebody up

Dans les vapes (In the fog)
To be confused

Avoir les dents longues (To have long teeth)
To be ambitious

Prendre son pied (To take his/her own foot)
To enjoy something

Avoir un coeur d'artichaut (To have a hartichoke heart)
To be fickle

Tomber à pic
To fall in a sheer drop

Vouloir le beurre et l'argent du beurre (To want the butter and the money for the butter)
You can't have your cake and eat it

Avoir la gueule de bois (To have a wooden head)
To be confused after having been drunk

Vendre la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué (To sell the fur of the bear before having killed it)

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched

Jeter de l'huile sur le feu (To pour oil on the fire)
To enlarge a problem

Trempé comme une soupe (Wet as a soup)
To be totally drenched

Etre au bout du rouleau (To be at the end of the roll)
To be at the end of one's tether

Mettre la charrue avant (devant) les boeufs (To put the cart before the horses)
To be messy. To do things in an improper order

Passer comme une lettre à la post (To pass as a letter at the post office)
To obtain something easily

Avoir la dalle - Crever la dalle
To be hungry

Brûler la chandelle par les deux bouts (To burn the candle from both sides)
To waste

Bavard comme une pie (Talkative as a magpie)
To be very talkative

A la queue leu leu
To wait in signle line

Bouche à oreilles (From the mouth...to the ears)
To pass the word

J'en mettrais ma main au feu (To put his/her hand in the fire)
To be sure of something

Etre (mettre) à côté de la plaque
To be completely mistaken

Que dalle
Nothing at all

Avoir la tête dans le cul (To have the head in the ass)
To feel sick or confused after a party

Ca fait des lustres ! Ca fait un bail
It has been a long time

Avoir du cul / Avoir du pot / Avoir du bol
To be lucky

Vendre la mèche (To sell the fuse)
To reveal a secret

Couper les cheveux en quatre (To cut a hair in four pieces)
To be too minutious

Avoir un appétit d'oiseau / Manger comme un moineau (To eat like a bird)
To have a weak appetite

Y'a pas de lézard!
There is no problem

Se mettre le doigt dans l'oeil (To put a finger in the eye)
To make a bad mistake

Mine de rien / Faire mine de rien
To stay unruffled, as if nothing had happened

Etre à la bourre
To be in a hurry. To be late

En avoir marre / c'est marre!
Enough is enough

Fumer comme un pompier (To smoke like a fireman)
To smoke a lot of cigarettes

Par coeur
By heart

Etre à l'ouest (To be on the west)
To be completely at sea

Au fur et à mesure
As one goes along

Faire un caca nerveux
To wig out / To freak out

Etre mal barré
To be in big troubles

Tiré par les cheveux
Something far-fetched