The French language is peppered with expressions and being such a gastronomic place it should come as no surprise that it is particularly rife with culinary-inspired idioms. Here are 9 of my favourite French expressions.
Tomber dans les pommes
Literally “fall in the apples”. Meaning: to faint, to pass out.
Long comme un jour sans pain
Literally “long like a day without bread”. Meaning: something very long and dreary, both physically like a long road, or more commonly the duration of an event like a long speech.
C’est la fin des haricots
Literally: “it’s the end of the beans”. Meaning: it’s the last straw, all hope is gone, the end of the world.
Sucrer les fraises
Literally “to sugar the strawberries”. Meaning: to have shaky hands, be doddery. Implies getting old. This is probably, possibly in my top 3 favourite French expressions!
C’est pas tes oignons
Literally: “they’re not your onions”. Meaning: it’s none of your business.
Avoir la pêche
Literally: “to have the peach”. Meaning: to be in high spirits, in a good mood.
Pédaler dans la choucroute
Literally: “to pedal in the sauerkraut”. Meaning: to be in a tricky situation and every effort to get out of it only makes it worse.
Mettre son grain de sel
Literally: “putting in your grain of salt”. Meaning: to stick one’s nose in, interfere with a conversation with an unsolicited comment.
En faire tout un fromage
Literally: to make a whole cheese about it. Meaning: to exaggerate something, make a big fuss.
The photo above is of a local supermarket’s doors, covered in food idioms! What do you think of these expressions? Do you have similar ones in your language?
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All expressions added to photos have been made by me. Photos credited where appropriate.