From The Rock

Some French phrases for your repertoire this National French Language Day

By | March 19, 2021

As one of Obsidian’s language lovers, I enjoy diving into the linguistics and differences in communication that arise when learning another language. It’s fun to find those quirky phrases that just don’t directly translate to English and keep them tucked away for future use! To celebrate French Language Day, here are a few French phrases that don’t make total sense in English.

Tomber dans les pommes: To fall in the apples. 

Meaning: To faint. 

Avoir les dents du fond qui baignent: To have your back teeth swimming. 

Meaning: You’ve eaten too much or your teeth are swimming in food. 

S’occuper de ses oignons: To care for your onions. 

Meaning: Mind your own business! 

C’est le petit Jésus en culotte de velours: It’s like baby Jesus in velvet pants. 

Meaning: The wine is delicious

Être sur son 31: To be on your 31. 

Meaning: To be dressed “to the nines” or dressed up. 

Avoir la gueule de bois: To have a wooden face. 

Meaning: To be hungover. It refers to the feeling of having unquenchable thirst after a night of drinking. 

Peigner la girafe: To comb the giraffe. 

Meaning: To engage in a pointless task, to twiddle your thumbs. 

Raconter des salades: To tell salads. 

Meaning: To tell elaborate lies or stories 

Poser un lapin: To put down/place a rabbit. 

Meaning: To stand someone up. 

Avoir le cafard: To have the cockroach. 

Meaning: To feel depressed or down. 

You never know when random tidbits like these will come in handy (I’m looking at you, Jeopardy!). Keep them stored away in that random corner of your mind for future use. Don’t forget to take a second to learn a few more French words this National French Language Day while you’re at it!