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Bizarre French idioms used in the common language

25 French idioms to sound like a native

Are you interested in learning French idioms to sound more like a native? Using French expressions and idioms are a great way to sound more natural and to better understand French language and French culture. But they can also be extremely confusing and sometimes funny if you translate them literally. They often carry certain cultural nuances that are relevant for native speakers. For the non-native speaker, French idioms and their meanings simply have to be memorized. Here is a selection of 25 bizarre French idioms used in the common language. Each idiom comes with its word- by-word translation in English and its meaning.

 

1 – L’habit ne fait pas le moine

 

L'habit ne fait pas le moine : the clothe doesn't make the monkbizarre french idioms used in the common language

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literal translation : the clothe doesn’t make the monk

What it means : don’t judge by the appearance

 

2 – J’ai un coup de foudre

Un coup de foudre : a lightning stroke - a bizarre french idioms used in the common language

 

 

Literal translation : I have a lightning stroke

What is means : i feel love at the first sight

 

3 – J’ai le cafard

Literal translation : I have the cockroach

What it means : I have the blues, I am down

 

4 – Je donne ma langue au chat

Literal translation : I give my tongue to the cat

What it means : I stop guessing

 

5 – Chapeau!

Literal translation : hat

What it means : congratulations !

 

6 – Il est dans le cirage

Literal translation : he is in the polish

What it means : he is out for the count

 

7 – Rien à cirer

Literal translation : nothing to polish

What it means : I don’t give a damn

 

8 – Tenez-moi au courant

Literal translation : keep me at the current

What it means : keep me informed

 

9 – Il a filé à l’anglaise

Filer à l'anglaise : to leave the French way a bizarre french idioms used in the common language

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literal translation : he took English leave

What it means : he took French leave

 

10 – Tu vas marcher à la baguette !

Literal translation : you will walk at the stick

What it means : you will be ruled with an iron hand !

 

 

11 – Elle a un nom à coucher dehors

Literal translation : she has a name to sleep outside

What it means : she has an impossible name

 

12 – Il est tombé dans les pommes

tomber dans les pommes : to faint bizarre french idiom used in the common language

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literal translation : he felt in the apples

What it means : he fainted

 

13 – Tu es une poule mouillée !

Literal translation : you are a wet hen !

What it means : you are a coward

 

14 – J’ai un rhume carabiné

Literal translation : I have a rifled cold

What it means : I have a bad cold

 

15 – On est serrés comme des sardines

Someone tight : Learn French with idiomatic expressions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literal translation : we are as tight as sardines

What it means : we are extremly tight

 

16 – Vous arrivez comme un cheveu sur la soupe

Literal translation : You arrive like a hair on the soup

What it means : You turn up at the wrong moment

 

17 – C’est très chouette

Literal translation : It’s very owl

What it means : I’s great ( used for a place / moment / person ) fam

 

18 – Merci pour votre coup de fil

Literal translation : thank you for your blow of string

What it means : thank you for your call ( fam )

 

19 – Je me fais un sang d’encre

se faire un sang d'encre : bizarre french idioms used in the common language
se faire un sang d’encre : to be very anxious

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literal translation : I am making myself a blood of ink

What it means : I am very worried

 

20 – J’ai les nerfs à fleur de peau

Literal translation : I have the nerves very close to the skin

What it means : I am edgy

 

2 – Vous perdez la boule

Literal translation : you are loosing the bowl

What it means : you are going crazy

 

23 – Arrêtez de raconter des salades

 raconter des salades : to tell liesbizarre french idioms used in the common language
Raconter des salades : to tell lies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literal translation : stop telling salads

What it means : stop lying

 

24 – Ca va mettre du beurre dans les épinards

Literal translation : It’s going to put butter in the spinach

What it means : it going to help us financially

 

25 – J’ai la puce à l’oreille

Literal translation : I have the flea at the hear

What it means : I suspect something

 

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