I was good at school, I mean, with English lessons. But as an adult, as I began to… speak with people, apart from plenty of little mistakes I scattered everywhere and of course the usual lack of vocabulary, it was OK. But… not that OK : Idioms. These were hard.
Same when you learn French, I suppose. There are plenty of books about these, and some are really funny. In this article, I found things we say daily. The most common ones…
Pile-poil! : exactly, dead on time!
Et rebelote! : once more, and yet again, another run and all over again.
J’ai la dalle (I have the slab) means you’re starving.
Au pif (at the nose) or à vue de nez (at sight of the nose) : at the guess, around.
C’est n’importe quoi (that’s whatever) : that’s rubbish.
Il me prend la tête (He takes my head) means he drives you crazy. On French Tinder you’ll seek a relationship “sans prise de tête” (without head taking)!
J’en ai marre means I’m fed up. “Marre” means nothing, we just say it. Someone about to explode will simply scream : MARRE !
Je suis crevé (I’m flat) means you’re exhausted, of course.
Faire la grasse matinée (to make the fat morning) is to sleep in. We often cut it : “Ce matin, grasse mat !”.
Jeter un coup d’œil (to throw a stroke of eye) is to take a quick look.
Faire le pont (to make the bridge) is a French sport : it means you take off the day(s) between a day without work and the weekend, for example.
Occupe-toi de tes oignons (take care of your own onions), for mind your own business.
En faire tout un fromage (to make a whole cheese out of it) is to make a fuss (what the hell is a fuss??).
Je suis en train de manger (I am in the action of eating) is our common way to say your “Be + ing” -> I’m eating. We say “je suis en train de” one million times a day.
Je te tiens au courant (I hold you to the current) : I keep you up to date.
Oh la vache ! (Oh the cow!) means you’re impressed : Oh my God!
Bah, there’s a Wiki about these : https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:French_idioms
- “Fleas & Cooks” : Some French Idioms explained
- French idioms to say “It was easy!”
- Do you have a cow? – “La rate au court bouillon” & a few other French idioms
- “A little bike in the coffee pot” : idioms about craziness