I hope no one is tired of learning inexplicable French idioms, because I have yet another eight to puzzle over!
1.Avoir les deux pieds dans la meme sabot At least where I live, in hipster too-close-to-Brooklyn-to-really-be-upstate upstate New York, clogs are very fashionable right now, but this idiom might bring new meaning to the trend. Meaning “to have two feet in the same clog,” this phrase suggests that you’re bumbling, confused, or clumsy in some way, but I trip a lot in clogs even when I’m wearing them correctly.
2.Être fauché comme les blés If you are a college student such as myself or just a normal human being in these trying times this one might relate to you. To say that they’re broke, French-speakers will say that they are “scythed like wheat fields,” the literal translation of the French phrase. Same, French-speakers. Same.
3.Pisser dans un violon When was the last time you peed into a violin to solve a problem? Never? Then this idiom will make sense. “Pisser dans un violon” means “to piss in a violin,” and is used to express that an action is useless or done in vain. This should really go unsaid, but never excrete into musical instruments. Please.
4.En faire tout un fromage As a typically dramatic, moody person, I simultaneously love this one and feel a little defensive about it. Translating to “to make a whole cheese about it,” this one describes someone making a fuss or throwing a fit. If only every time I overreacted I had a whole cheese by the time I calmed down.
5.Engueuler quelqu’un comme du poisson pourri This is used to describe giving someone a severe tongue-lashing (which is another strange phrase that I first heard of today and felt like I needed to use) and literally translates to “to yell at someone like they’re rotten fish.” Rotten fish sucks. Sometimes people suck. It’s logical.
6.Tremper son biscuit For this idiom, I like to imagine a bunch of adorable French ladies sitting around a baguette, some brie, and just like, a crapton of butter, gossiping about the neighbors. “Tremper son biscuit,” or “to dip his cookie,” is a remarkably cute and delicious way to say that a man is sleeping around. Dunking Oreos in milk will never be the same.
7.Péter plus haut que son cul I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this one for a while, but I have given up. Like a lot of poetry, I’m just going to focus on how it makes me feel rather than what it actually means. Translating to “to fart higher than their ass is located,” this one is a criticism of the big-headed, arrogant folks. I guess maybe they have hot air up high? Is that it? Or is everything they say so vile it’s like a fart? Gosh, I don’t know.
8.Clouer le bec de quelqu’un This edition of “French Idioms That Everyone Should Adopt Immediately” is fairly violent. This last one goes with the theme. “Clouer le bec de quelqu’un,” or “to nail someone’s beak,” refers to shutting someone up. I guess after someone pissed in your violin and you made a whole cheese about it by yelling at them like they’re rotten fish, since they always fart higher than their ass is located, you’ve had a long night and you just want to nail their beak and call it a day.
Happy making a whole cheese.
Student. Writer. Everything-o-phile.