Matador Network

21 French expressions that will make you laugh

Photo: Loren Kerns

1. French people don’t “fall madly in love”…they “are struck by lightning” (Avoir un coup de foudre).

2. French people don’t “have sex”…they “throw each other in the air” (S’envoyer en l’air).

3. A French person don’t “feel depressed”…they “have the cockroach” (Avoir le cafard).

4. French people don’t say “it drives me crazy”…they say “It’s taking my head” (Ca me prend la tête).

5. French people don’t “have a lot on their plate”…they “have bread on the board” (Avoir du pain sur la planche).

6. French people are not “spaced out”…they are “in the West” (Etre à l’Ouest).

7. French people are not “fed up with something”…they “have a bowl full of it” (En avoir ras le bol).

8. French people are not “afraid of something”…they “have a blue fear” of it (Avoir une peur bleue).

9. French people don’t “feel bad”…they “aren’t in their plate” (Ne pas être dans son assiette).

10. French people don’t “lose their temper”…they “have mustard going up their nose” (Avoir la moutarde qui monte au nez).

11. French people aren’t “hang over”…they have a “wooden face” (Avoir la gueule de bois).

12. French people are not “stupid”…they “have the same IQ as an oyster” (Avoir le QI d’une huître).

13. French people don’t “eat on the go”…they “eat on the thumb” (Manger sur le pouce).

14. French people don’t “bite off more than they can chew”…their “eyes are bigger than their belly” (Avoir les yeux plus gros que le ventre).

15. French people don’t say “it’s very cold”…they said “this cold is made for a duck” (un froid de canard).

16. French people don’t “waste money”…they “throw money out the window” (Jeter l’argent par les fenêtres).

17. French people don’t say “for next to nothing”…they say “for a mouthful of bread” (Pour une bouchée de pain).

18. French people don’t say “it costs a fortune”…they say “it as expensive as the eyes of my head” (Coûter les yeux de la tête).

19. French people aren’t “rich”…they “ride on gold” (Rouler sur l’or).

20. French people don’t say “things get nasty”…they say “things are turning into vinegar” (Touner au vinaigre).

21. French don’t “sleep in”…they “have a fat morning” (Faire la grasse matinée).