Learning a new language can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. While mastering grammar rules and expanding your vocabulary is crucial, it’s also essential to have some fun along the way. So, why not sprinkle a touch of humour into your French language journey? Here is a collection of phrases that should not only make you laugh but also help you remember some unique French expressions!
“C’est la fin des haricots” - It’s the end of the beans!
In English, we might say, “It’s the end of the line”, but the French have their own food-related twist on this common idiom. This phrase is used to convey that something is the final straw or the last opportunity.
“Tomber dans les pommes” - To fall into the apples
While this phrase might sound like a comical accident in an orchard, it actually means to faint or pass out. If you’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy, you can humorously declare that you’re about to “fall into the apples” to lighten the situation.
Il ne faut pas travailler pendant toute la nuit, tu vas finir par tomber dans les pommes.
Quand j’ai vu le sang, je suis tombé dans les pommes.
“Les carottes sont cuites” - The carrots are cooked
Yet another culinary phrase, this one means that a situation is beyond saving or irreversible. It’s similar to saying in English, “It’s a lost cause.”
“Avoir du pain sur la planche” - To have bread on the (bread)board
Similar to saying, “To have a lot on one’s plate” in English, this phrase is used when someone has a lot to do. This is an interesting one as someone wouldn’t usually think of eating as a chore, especially in France. Cooking maybe, but not eating!
Je ne peux pas sortir ce soir ; j’ai du pain sur la planche.
Il reste du pain sur la planche. - There’s still a lot to do, a lot of work to do.
“C’est pas tes oignons!” - It’s not your onions
This French expression means, “It’s none of your business”, but since it’s informal a better translation in English would be, “none of your beeswax”.
Je te dis pas - c’est pas tes oignons !
Occupe-toi de tes oignons ! - Mind your own business
“Raconter des salades” - To tell salads
Equivalent to “spinning yarns” in English; in other words, telling stories or elaborate lies, this phrase gives the image of a variety of colourful ingredients that, together, make a delicious - or in this case, easy to swallow - whole.
Ne l’écoute pas, il raconte des salades.
C’est impossible, je pense que tu racontes des salades.
“Avoir la patate/la pêche” - To have a potato/a peach
This phrase is not to be taken literally. Instead, it serves as a metaphor to convey a sense of vitality or enthusiasm. It implies that the person in question is full of energy, motivation, and optimism - a lighthearted way to describe someone’s upbeat mood and excitement.
Tu as la patate! Pourquoi t’es si souriant?
By incorporating these practical and playful French expressions into your day-to-day conversations, you can lighten up your language with a touch of humour and charm. Embrace the linguistic playfulness of the French language and watch as these expressions bring a smile to the faces of those around you. Bonne chance!
Did we miss out some of your favourite food-related expressions? Comment them below!
This article was brought to you by our favourite inter, Claire Thomas!