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FRN Vocabulary

Selection of Important Idiomatic Expressions

le revers de la médaille the other side of the coin
Ça fait râler... Ça me fait râler... When something makes you very angry... That makes me angry...
Un rire jaune a false smile (jaune is the color of treachery in Franch)
un jaune a strikebreaker or a coward
faire le poireau to be left to wait around (leeks remain in the ground longer than most vegetables)
Je ne sais plus où donner de la tête I am really confused.
donner sa langue au chat to give up
les cheveux en bataille dishevelled hair
le train-train the routine, regular routine without any unexpected event
C'est me bête noire. I just cannot stand it (used when you want to emphatically make a point against someone or something).
avoir le trac to have stage fright
a gogo a lot of
un violon d'Ingres a hobby (Ingres was a famous painter who played violin in his spare time.)
n'avoir ni queue ni tête to make no sense (used when find it difficult to understand or believe a story)
de bon coeur willingly (used to show good faith)
rester bouche bée to be surprised (used to show extreme shock)
être rasoir to be a bore (shaving is a repetitive task)
en somme all in all (used after one has considered all there is to conclude a statement)
payer les pots cassés to pay for the damage
comme le jour et la nuit as different as night and day
tiré à quatre épingles well dressed (held by four pins. During Renaissance, pins were an item of luxury)
la brebis galeuse the black sheep (the mangy sheep)
être sans le sou to be penniless (used to emphasize destitution)
avoir du toupet to have nerve (used to criticize an insensitive person)
en faire à sa tête to do as one wishes, act according to his or her own mind
appeler un chat un chat to call a spade a spade
avoir de pain sur la plance to have more than one thing to do (in rural France, farmers used to store large quantities of bread on a board)
un canard a tabloid (canard was often untrue piece of news, now refers to magazine or newspapers that print such news)
C'est kif-kif. It makes no difference. It's my pleasure either way. (kif-kif is Arabic meaning pleasure.)
être aux anges to be very happy (to be with angels, to be in 7th heaven)
être bête comme ses pieds to be very stupid, describes a brainless person (feet cannot think)
de nos jours nowadays
un temps de chien very bad weather (expressions with "de chien" have a negative connotation)
perdre le nord to lose control (lost when cannot locate North)
rendre compte
Cela vaut la peine It's worth it, It's worth the hardship
être au point-mort to be at a standstill (point of death is the neutral gear)
passer une nuit blanche to spend a sleepless night (night empty of sheep)
avoir le cafard to feel depressed (cafard = cockroach)
Sa mémoire est une vraie passoire. He or she has a memory like a sieve. (passoire = sieve)
avoir des doigts de fées to have nimble fingers (to have the fingers of the faerie) (someone who can use their fingers to do wonderful things)
faire courir un bruit to spread a rumor
C'est son rayon. That's his or her specialty. (Rayon is a department in a large store).
un coup de foudre love at first sight (la foudre = thunderbolt)
Created by: kles