Those are damn good abs - la tablette de chocolatWhat isn’t made of chocolate but totally should be? Abs. The French are way ahead of us on that one: “la tablette de chocolat,” literally translating to "chocolate bar," is how they refer to that mysterious marvel that is the six-pack. By no means am I, or will I ever be, the proud owner of a six-pack, and that is my reality; but for those of you who do have six-packs, remember this idiom.
That was awkward – arriver comme un cheveu sur la soupe I’m surprised no Americans have adopted this one yet based on the incredibly dramatic reactions I’ve seen when someone finds a hair in their food. (Is it weird that I would still eat something that I found a hair in? Or just responsible?) This one literally means “to arrive like a hair in one’s soup,” and is used to describe entering a situation in the worst way possible.
I screwed up big time - faire l’andouille Sometimes I screw something up so badly that I render myself speechless. It’s amazing that I can still shock myself after twenty years of shenanigans. But next time that I sleep through a final, say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time, or forget to check that my skirt isn’t tucked into the back of my tights, I have something to say, thanks to the French: “Damn it, I made the sausage. Again.” (I’m imagining an incredible situation in which you’re making something like eggs or mac and cheese and somehow, through a series of uncanny events, actually end up making sausage by accident – “Merde! J’ai fait l’andouille!”)
So dreamy – un coup de foudre At this point it’s common knowledge that crushes are called crushes because having one is a violent, painful tragedy. The French took it even further: “un coup de foudre,” meaning love at first sight, translates literally to “a strike of lighting,” which is what I wish would actually happen to me anytime I like someone.
Stood up at the prom - poser un lapin à quelqu’un You know when you flake out on plans at the last minute and the offended party just comes by all angry and puts a rabbit on you? Me either. But apparently that’s what happens in French-speaking regions, which honestly sounds like a great incentive to get everyone to cancel their plans with you (which is my truest goal, always).
Focus is for cameras - sauter du coq à l’âne Whether you want to avoid the subject, or are just feeling trendy MySpace early 2000s extra-random, this one is for you. “Sauter du coq à l’âne” translates to “to jump from the rooster to the donkey” and is used to describe hopping from topic to topic in conversation.
A total nutcase - être à l’ouest I wonder about the origins of this idiom, but I’m a little afraid to find out. Literally “being in the west,” this one refers to being completely crazy or totally out of it. What’s going on in the west, you guys? I can only think of witches and musicals.
Anger mismanagement - la moutarde me monte au nez Yes, that is the word for mustard you see in there. “La moutarde me monte au nez” means “the mustard is getting to my nose” or, “I’m getting angry.” This one is sort of convincing because of how freaking spicy mustard can get, but I don’t know how it traveled to the nose. I’m not going to question it, though, because anything sounds better than “I’m so pissed!”