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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Fantastically Funny French Frases … or Phrases

Costa Rica at Service

It’s Friday and time to get a little zany. The French language is beautiful. A fluent speaker talks with elegance. It’s also filled with great idioms and funny phrases that we thought we should share.

Let’s start with some idioms:

Phrase: C’est la fin des haricots.
Literal: Translation: That’s the end of the beans.
Actual Meaning: It’s the last straw or that’s the end of it.

Phrase: Les carottes sont cuites.
Literal Translation: The carrots are cooked.
Actual Meaning: I’ve had it.

Phrase: Marcher à côté de ses pompes.
Literal Translation: To walk next to one’s shoes.
Actual Meaning: To be out of it.

Phrase: Arrête ton char!
Literal Translation: Stop your chariot!
Actual Meaning: Stop bluffing!

Phrase: Aller au charbon.
Literal Translation: To go to the coal (mines).
Actual Meaning: To do something very difficult.

Phrase: Poser un lapin.
Literal Translation: Leave a rabbit.
Actual Meaning: Stand someone up.

    And some local tongue twisters:

    Poisson sans boisson–c’est poison!

    To eat fish without drinking wine is poison!

    Didon dîna, dit-on, du dos d’un dodu dindon.

    Didon ate, it is said, from the back of a fat turkey.

    Natacha n’attacha pas son chat qui s’échappa.

    Natasha did not tie up her cat, who escaped.

    Tonton, ton thé t’a-t-il ôté ta toux?

    Uncle, did your tea take away your cough?

    La pipe au papa du Pape Pie pue.

    Pope Pius’ dad’s pipe stinks.

    Je veux et j’exige du jasmin and des jonquilles

    I want and demand jasmine and daffodils.

    Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.

    If my uncle shaves your uncle, your uncle will be shaved.

    Si six scies scient six cyprès, six cents scies scient six cent cyprès.

    If six saws saw six cypresses, six hundred saws saw six hundred cypresses.

    Practice over the weekend! If you really want to hone your friend speaking skills, join us on our French Excursion program this summer.

    The Westcoast Blogger