Post funny French expressions you know!

After being inspired by this Quora thread on funny French expressions, I recently bought with my lingots the French courses on flirting and idioms. Honestly, I was slightly disappointed - I wanted something funny or more offensive expressions to flaunt around in my French class. The same way we say untranslatable things like "hold your horses" or "a piece of cake", French people also have their share of strange and funny expressions!

Here's a few I like personally:

  • Faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties (don’t push granny in the nettles) - stop exaggerating

  • Tenir la chandelle (to hold the candle) - to third-wheel

  • Avoir le cafard / donner le cafard à quelqu'un (to have the cockroach / to give the cockroach to someone) - to be depressed / to make someone depressed

  • Perché (perched) - to be high on drugs

There's a lot more on Quora's thread, and I would love to see more from you guys :) P.S. This is my first Duolingo thread, so tell me what I'm doing wrong if anything...

May 29, 2018


Congrats on your first Duo post! Here are some more French idioms for you. Se prendre un râteau (to be devastated after being rejected by a person you are romantically interested in) sounds particularly juicy. If I have interpreted the literal meaning correctly, it looks something like this:


May 29, 2018

I agree with you. The Flirting and Idioms skills were a little disappointing! Here's two tongue-twisters for you and your French class! Le ver vert va vers le verre vert. The green worm goes toward the green glass. Another one! Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. A hunter who knows how to hunt must know how to hunt without his dog. Have fun learning French! Off topic: I've missed you, Mari! I miss seeing your funny posts! It's so good to see you're still on Duolingo! Hugs!

May 30, 2018

Hello, Nancy! I will try to make Duolingo a part of my daily routine again. Fingers crossed. :)

May 31, 2018

I'm still here and on Memrise! I don't want to lose what I've learned. I'm re-gilding my trees with the new crown system! I think about you when I read Tove Jansson's books to my granddaughter! I think about you when someone posts about Finnish on Duolingo, too! I loved your cultural posts on Duolingo, too! I hope you and your family are well! Best wishes!

May 31, 2018

Thank you, Nancy. Having someone to read to you as a child is one of the key experiences of life. It does not even have to be a story! Reading the newspaper in the morning with my great-uncle was the highlight of my day when I was four. Who is your favourite Moomin character? Mine is The Groke. All the best to you and your loved ones. :)

June 1, 2018

That's a wonderful memory! Since my granddaughter is 3 years old, we read Moomin's Little Book of Numbers, Moomin's Little Book of Words, the Book About Moomin, Mymble, and Little My and some pop-up books. The Groke character isn't in any of her books! I'll have to check Amazon for more of Jansson's books! We took her to a Princess Party and she loved the Disney Princesses! She dressed up as Belle of Beauty and the Beast because that's her favorite princess! I laughed until I cried watching the little girls dance and hug the Princesses! Love to you and your family!

June 3, 2018

Who Will Comfort Toffle? is the most popular book by Jansson among Finnish children under school age. It is about finding friendship and your courage. Some of it can be a little scary though, because some children find The Groke scary. It has been a while since I read it, so I do not remember, whether it explains why The Groke is the way she is. It is a very sad story.

June 4, 2018
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