French idioms #2 - Faut pas pousser mémé
As promised, we go on with a new cool french idiom :). Today : Il ne faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties (and its derivatives).
It's a phrase a bit colloquial, not to be used in a formal context, though very common and popular. It literally means : "You must not push grandma in the neetles". It's a derivative form of "Il ne faut pas pousser" which means "Don't push it", so very close to the english ! Adding "mémé dans les orties" emphasizes it. Who would put a grandma in the neetles ??? That's definitely pushing it too far ! You can also hear the short version "Il ne faut pas pousser mémé !".
As you know the "ne" is pretty much always dropped orally in french. This also applies to the "Il" when it comes to the idiom "Il ne faut pas". Therefore you'd rather hear "Faut pas", especially when one is angry ! "Faut pas pousser !", or "Faut pas exagérer !", "Faut pas abuser !", all mean the same thing.
Another funny derivative form is "Faut pas pousser le bouchon" (literally : You must not push the cork) that has also itself his derivatives. The funnier is : "Tu pousses le bouchon un peu trop loin Maurice !" (ltr : You push the cork a little too far Maurice !). It's a phrase you could hear in an informal situation. Even if your name is not Maurice ! haha. It is very generational though. The youngest (less than 20) and the elderly (60+) might not get it. That is because it comes from a very famous and very funny advertisement from the late 90's (or early 2000's can't remember). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASc40_mpZjU (2 millions views ! #MauriceFirst)
It's very rare that an advertisement creates a phrase in a langage that lasts for decades. Are there any in english too ?
I think there are 2 in french. Tomorrow I might present you the other one.
Take care and see you soon !
P.S : Feel free to correct my english.
Fantastic post! One advertising phrase that entered English was "Where's the beef?" from a Wendy's TV commercial in the 1970s. I still hear somebody say it once in a while after almost 50 years.
It is used to point out that something does not measure up to what it claims. The woman in the commercial was asking, “Where’s the beef?” about competitor’s hamburgers because she thought they were so inferior.
Some much loved old UK advert classics: 1. "Tell them about the honey, Mummy!" 2. "The Water in Majorca Don't Taste Like What It Oughta". Not a good phrase to learn for English purists! 3. "If you see Sid...tell him!" 4. "Do you know the piano's on my foot?" - "You hum it son, I'll play it." 5. "Whassuuuup!" An American classic also, I'm assuming.
I was also curious about the ubiquitous French phrase "C'est parti, mon kiki". Any ideas about its origins, or is it just one of number of rhyming phrases.
"Wassuuup" - "Wazaaaa" hahaha it crossed the sea, a lot of french people know this too ! When I was a child I remember my father and my uncles yelling "wazzaaaa" and me laughing so hard.
"C'est parti, mon kiki" I'm not sure there is very interesting things to say about it, it's just that "kiki" is cute+funny and it rhymes with "parti", but I may be wrong. There is similar phrases like "tu l'as dit, bouffi !" I'll look into it and maybe make a post about it
J'aime bien cette idée! Merci mille fois! Aussi, il n'y a que une erreur. Changez de "emphasize" en "emphasizes". Encore, beaucoup de gens disent "ad" plutot que "advertisement".
Thanks ! I'll correct it. About "ad" I saw that in UK they'd rather say "advert" so I wanted to be neutral about it
Husband came up trumps, "Were you truly wafted here from paradise?" "No, Luton airport"
Oh, je l'adore celle là ! Une autre qui aurait tout son sens ici c'est "je parle anglais comme une vache espagnole" !