7 French idioms deciphered

French is a rich idiom with plenty of expressions that can be considered, well, bonkers.

In honor of the elegant French language, here are 7 expressions illustrated which may enlighten or confuse you.


Se prendre un râteau

Literal meaning: to get or receive a rake
Actual meaning: to get turned down, rejected by someone, to get knocked back


Poser un lapin

Literal meaning: to place a rabbit on someone
Actual meaning: to stand somebody up


Être fauché comme les blés

Literal meaning: to be harvested like wheat
Actual meaning: to be completely broke


Courir sur le haricot

Literal meaning: to run on a bean
Actual meaning: to get on somebody’s nerves


Être rond comme une queue de pelle

Literal meaning: to be round as a shovel handle
Actual meaning: to be very drunk


Avoir le cul bordé de nouilles

Literal meaning: to have your a** full of noodles
Actual meaning: to be extremely lucky


Ça ne casse pas trois pattes à un canard

Literal meaning: it doesn’t break three legs of a duck
Actual meaning: It’s nothing to write home about


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  1. Pingback: 4 untranslatable French words to keep in your back poche at all times - The Gymglish blog

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