Friday, August 14, 2009

French expressions

Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini has a list of food-related idioms. They never fail to make me laugh. This was the reason I bought few month back "100 expressions à sauver" by Bernard Pivot. He collected 100 idiomatic expression that are in danger of dissapearing from the everyday use. I have list of my favorite ones above my work computer. Here is a list of my favorite ones with idiomatic translation where I could find them:

1. peigner la girafe - doing something absurd, boring and useless
2. c'est la fin des haricots - that's the st straw
3. la semaine de quattre jeudi - literally, the four Thursdays week meaning never
4. prendre la clef des champs - running away
5. bête comme ses pieds - literally, dumb as one's feet or dumb as a doorknob
6. se monter le bourichon - to gert all worked up
7. tailler une bavette - chatter, gossip or natter (Brit).
8. fagoté comme d'as de pique - Larousse gives the equivalent "you look like you havebeen dragged through a hedge backwards".
9. doucement les basses - in moderation (also a 1970 movie with Alain Delon - how come I have not seen it is the question, considering that in my young days, Delon was my favorite actor ....)
10. avoir du foin dans ces bottes - being rich; I could not find anything that comes close the original. If anybody knows an idiomatic translation for this one, I'd love to hear from you!Thanks!
11. se moquer comme de l'an quarante - to not care. Larousse gives " to not give two hoots!" (fam.) The funny thing is some say this expresssion is still in use in Québec. It can very well be, although I cannot say I heard it around in the 15 years since I moved to Montréal.

In the end, words are art too, right?