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The Funniest French Expressions (and How to Use Them)

France Languages
by Morgane Croissant Aug 27, 2021

Whoever said the French were a romantic, sensual bunch has never heard them use their everyday expressions. The good people of France have crafted very imaginative (and sometimes a little crude) ways to tell people to mind their own business or to take a hike. Learn a few of the following hilarious French expressions to elevate your language skills and pass for a local.

1. The French don’t “piss you off”… they “shit you off” (Faire chier quelqu’un).

2. The French don’t call you “idiotic”… they call you “as dumb as a broom” (Être con comme un balai).

3. The French don’t “blow you off”… they “give you the rake” (Se prendre un râteau).

4. The French don’t tell you that “they don’t care”… they tell you that “they care about it like they care about their very first shirt” (S’en foutre comme de sa première chemise).

5. The French don’t say “this is annoying me”… they say “I’m getting swollen by this” (Ça me gonfle).

6. The French don’t tell you to “leave them alone”… they tell you to “go and cook yourself an egg” (Aller se faire cuire un œuf).

7. The French don’t tell you that “you’re grumpy”… they tell you that “you’re farting sideways” (Avoir un pet de travers).

8. The French don’t “go crazy”… they “break a fuse” (Péter un plomb).

9. The French are not “bumbling”… they have “both their feet in the same clog” (Avoir les deux pieds dans le même sabot).

10. The French are not “energized”… they have “the potato” or the “French fry” (Avoir la patate/la frite).

11. The French don’t tell you “to mind your own business”… they tell you “to deal with your own onions” (Occupe-toi de tes oignons).

12. The French are not “broke”… they are “scythed like wheat fields” (Être fauché comme les blés).

13. The French are not “very lucky”… they have “as much luck as a cuckold” (Avoir une veine de cocu).

14. The French don’t say “it’s useless”… they say “it’s like pissing in a violin” (Pisser dans un violon).

15. The French are not “ungrateful”… they “spit in the soup” (Cracher dans la soupe).

16. The French don’t “fuss about something”… they “make a whole cheese about it” (En faire tout un fromage).

17. The French don’t “give someone a tongue-lashing”… they “yell at them like they’re rotten fish” (Engueuler quelqu’un comme du poisson pourri).

18. French men don’t “sleep around”… they “dip their biscuit” (Tremper son biscuit).

19. The French are not “big-headed”… they “fart higher than their ass is located” (Péter plus haut que son cul).

20. The French don’t “shup someone up”… they “nail someone’s beak” (Clouer le bec de quelqu’un).

21. The French are not “tired”… they have “their head up their ass” (Avoir la tête dans le cul).

22. The French do not say something “random”… they say something “that has nothing to do with sauerkraut” (Ca n’a rien à voir avec la choucroute).

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