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French Idioms





To know a language you have to know its idioms, and French is no exception. All forms of the language, from the highly colloquial to the utterly erudite use idioms. Browse below to find the idiom you need, or just explore the many ways you can express yourself in French.

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V


un bon coup de fourchette
a hearty appetite

un bon/sacré savon
dressing down, scolding, tellling-off

un coup d’épée dans l’eau
a futile act; a wasted effort

un coup de chance
a break; a lucky break

un coup de chien
a sudden squall

un coup de veine
a break; a lucky break

un dure à cuire
hard-boiled person

un faible pour
a soft spot for

un faux air de
a vague resemblance to

un feu de paille
a flash in the pan

un vrai tas de boue
jalopy, rattletrap, heap (an old car in poor condition)

un(e) perdu(e), dix de retrouvé(e)s
there are plenty more like him/her out there

une fièvre de cheval
a high fever

une fringale de
a craving for

une histoire à dormir debout
a tall tale

une idée en l’air
just an idea

une truie n’y retrouverait pas ses petits
this place is a mess

utiliser son joker
play one's trump card


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