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Can you explain me some idioms?

Hello everybody :) I have a small problem with idioms in french. Specifically phrase : ,,métro-boulet-dodo" It means ,,all work, no play" So, can someone explain me this phrase please? When and why french people use this phrase? I understand translation but I can't imagine it in ordinary speech. They really use this phrase? Just say :,, métro-boulet-dodo" and nothing else? Please if you know, explain me how does it work in some sentences, in dialy life.

P.s: Does it exist some web site or dictionary with french phrases, hm? Give me advice

July 2, 2020



The literal translation being "subway-work-sleep", the idiom is basically meant to express the monotony of life; in other words, "work, sleep, repeat". French people do use it, but like all idioms, it's used in context and depends on the preference of the speaker. For example, you might say it while rolling your eyes about chores, if that's the kind of thing you'd do. Admittedly, I'd probably never use it, nor would I use such expressions as "the rat race" or "work sleep repeat", but that's my preference, and I know people who do use those.

As for an idiom dictionary, http://www.languagerealm.com/french/frenchidioms.php seems to do a decent job.


Thank you for link of dictionary :) :)


Hi, quick piggie back question, I thought that work was travail, is boulot a different concept or tense? Is it the context that makes it "work"?



"Boulot" is slang for "job; work", and otherwise has the same meaning as "travail".


Yes, "métro boulot dodo" is a common saying, in use since the 1968 students protests, to represent the monotone day to day life without perspective of Parisian workers.


Wauuu :) thank you for your comment, it is very interesting and useful information.


The informal French expression métro, boulot, dodo (pronounced [may tro boo lo do do]) is a wonderfully succinct way of saying that you live to work. Métro refers to a subway commute, boulot is an informal word for work, and dodo is baby talk for sleeping.

...I found via the internet...

The English equivalents—the rat race, the same old routine, work work work—don't quite capture the same sense of constant movement, and a more literal English translation, "commute, work, sleep," isn't as poetic as the French. Example: Depuis ma promotion, c'est métro, boulot, dodo! Translation: Ever since my promotion, it's been nothing but work, work, work!


looks like "subway, job, crash" (the last one probably is a slang term formed by repeating the first syllable of dormir ) I can see that being roughly equivalent to "all work no play". (get up, hit the floor running, catch the train to work, work all day till you crash. Repeat the next day.)

I guess if you want to capture the rhyme and rhythm, you could recast it as

"subway, work all day, hit the hay"

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