The French language – more confusion! Learning to speak French.
In no particular order or group, and just as they pop in to my head:-
( * designates that there is an accent missing )
c’est terrible! does not mean it is terrible, it means that it is great – awesome is a good translation
mortel ! does not mean it is deadly but as above
mon oeil! in English we’d say “my foot!” (my eye)
partir a toutes jambes – to leg it (to leave on all legs) *
il n’y a pas le feu au lac – it’s not the end of the world (there is no fire on the lake)
le feu au fesses – knickers on fire (bottom on fire)
la sardine qui a bouche le port de Marseilles – the straw that broke the camel’s back (the sardine that blocked the port of Marseilles) *
c’est le pied – its the tops (its the foot)
la semaine des 4 jeudis et 3 dimanches – a month of Sundays (the week with 4 Thursdays and 3 Sundays)
s’enfuir a la tire d’aile – to run for one’s life (to run with wings flapping) *
prendre la poudre d’escampette – to run away (verb escamper – ie to decamp)
couper l’herbe sous le pied – to pip to the post (cut the grass under one’s feet – not quite the same as pulling the rug away)
fauche comme des bles – down at heel (thrashed like wheat) *
le panier perce – holes in pockets * (punctured basket)
l’argent me brule les doigts – money burns holes in my pockets (burns my fingers)
lessive, creve – all done in (washed, punctured) *
patience d’un ange – patience of a saint (of an angel)
les chiens ne font pas des loups – can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear (dogs don’t make wolves)
jour et nuit – chalk and cheese (night and day)
tourne la langue 10 fois dans la bouche – count to ten (turn your tongue 10 times in your mouth)
The Moulin Rouge in Paris – many of the dancers are English or American, perhaps Dutch, because they are taller than French girls. The topless-but-untouchable theme was introduced by the English dancer Bluebell who worked in Paris : see link below
The Tour de France came through our village near La Rochelle one year. Behind the cyclists are all the support vehicles, many of them advertising and throwing out nasty little plastic freebies for the spectators. And how the spectators loved them! Not just children but grown-ups were scrabbing around on the dirt to pick up plastic whistles and peaked caps and fridge magnets. It was hilarious and I found watching them was vastly more fun than watching the cyclists.
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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. Her books are available as e-books on this site, from Amazon & Kindle or can be ordered from most leading libraries and book stores. More about Catherine Broughton, to include her sketches and her entertaining blogs, on http://turquoisemoon.co.uk
Click below for “A Call from France”, considered a must-read for mothers and for Francophile – or Francophobes!
In case of interest:-