mentirto lie
- Tu mens ! You’re lying!
- Les animaux ne mentent pas… Animals do not lie…
- un morceau de pain a piece of bread
devoirto have to, must, to be due to
- Je dois partir. I’ve got to go.
- Tu dois être fatigué. You must be tired.
- Je devais déjeuner avec mon fils, mais il m’a posé un lapin. I was supposed have lunch with my son but he stood me up.
poser un lapin à qnto stand sb up 1 2
avoir d’autres chats à fouetterto have other cats to whip (to have other fish to fry): to have other activities to do, esp more important ones 3
comme un chienlike a dog 4 / It is used to describe someone who is treated badly, physically or emotionally.
- Mon boss me traite comme un chien; il me parle agressivement, ne me fait jamais de compliment My boss treats me like a dog; he speaks aggressively to me, never pays me a compliment.
- Il y a quelques jours, j’étais malade comme un chien. A few days ago, I was as sick as a dog.
fièvre de chevala high fever / This expression is used to describe a person who has a very high fever, often associated with a serious infection or illness. / horses can develop a high fever when they are sick, and the fever can be so severe that it can cause them to become delirious and behave erratically.
- J’avais une fièvre de cheval et plein de courbatures. I had a raging temperature and I was aching all over.
avoir le cafardto be feeling down
cafard cockroach
avoir un coup de cafard to have a fit of the blues
cloué au litconfined to bed
clouer to nail / clouer au sol (personne) to pin to the ground; (avion) to ground
- Il habite Paris depuis 2013. He’s been living in Paris since 2013.
- Je ne lui ai pas parlé depuis. I haven’t spoken to him since.
- Depuis combien de temps ? How long?
- Il habite Paris depuis cinq ans. He’s been living in Paris for five years.
- Depuis quand ? How long?
mocheawful, rotten
- Je la trouve moche comme un pou mais elle est maligne comme un singe ! I find her as ugly as sin but she’s as smart as a whip.
temps de chienrotten weather
- Dehors, il faisait toujours gris et moche - un vrai temps de chien. Outside, it was always grey and dull -really lousy weather.
ennuyerto bother
s’ennuyer to be bored
s’ennuyer comme un rat mortto be really bored
- Stéphane s’ennuie comme un rat mort dans son boulot. Stéphane is getting bored to death in his job.
avoir un appétit d’oiseauto have a small appetite
- Je m’ennuyais comme un rat mort et j’avais un appétit d’oiseau. I was bored to death and I was eating like a bird.
être bavard comme une pieto be a chatterbox
une pie a magpie: a long-tailed crow with boldly marked (or green) plumage and a raucous voice. / used in similes or comparisons to refer to a person who collects things, especially things of little use or value, or a person who chatters idly. “his father was a garrulous old man who chattered like a magpie”
dormir comme un loirto sleep like a log
loir dormouse, which is a rodent that hibernates for seven months a year
- Elle a dormi comme un loir cette nuit et maintenant elle a une faim de loup. She slept like a log last night and now she’s famished.
reprendre du poil de la bêteto find a second wind, to regain strength, to pick up (to retake the hair of the beast)
poil hair (of body and animal, vs un cheveu / des cheveux human head hair)
- Je commence tout doucement à reprendre du poil de la bête. I’m beginning quite slowly to pick up again.
surtoutabove all, especially
J’ai une faim de loup !I’m ravenous! I’m famished!
loup wolf
passer du coq à l’âneto suddenly change the subject, jump between subjects, make a non sequitur 5
coq cock (masc.) / âne donkey (masc.)
- J’ai du mal à vous suivre car vous sautez du coq à l’âne tout le temps. I find it hard to follow you because you’re jumping from one thing to another.
boulotjob, work
- Anita a trouvé du boulot. Anita has found a job.
malin comme un singemalin (fem. maligne) crafty, clever, smart (from le mal, evil. Because of the word’s “devilish” origins, the emphasis is on shrewdness rather than just intelligence.)
- Il est malin comme un singe, celui-là ! He’s as smart as a whip (a monkey), that one! / singe monkey
- Ce n’est pas très malin, ce que tu viens de faire. What you’ve just done isn’t very clever.
doux comme un agneauas gentle as a lamb
agneau lamb
- Viens te baigner, l’eau est vachement chaude. Come in the water, it’s really warm.
- Il a l’air doux comme un agneau, mais il est vachement ambitieux. Qu’est-ce qu’il va faire ? He looks (as) gentle as a lamb but he damned ambitious. What’s he going to do?
- Elle est vachement intelligente. She’s really smart.
- Il pleut vachement. It’s raining really hard.
devinerto guess
- Tu ne devineras jamais. Vas-y : essaie ! You’ll never guess. Go on, try!
courir plusieurs lièvres à la foisto chase several hares at once, have several irons in the fire (to concentrate on more than one thing)
- Je sais qu’il court toujours plusieurs lièvres à la fois et il peut tout faire. I know that he’s got several irons in the fire at once and he can do anything.
donner sa langue au chatto give one’s tongue to the cat (to give up or stop guessing)
- Si tu donnes ta langue au chat, je te donnerai la réponse. If you give up, I’ll tell you the answer.
- Non ? Alors je donne ma langue au chat ! Dis-le-moi s’il te plaît. No? Then I give up! Tell me please.
heureux comme un poisson dans l’eauhappy as a fish in water
avoir un mal de chiento have a lot of difficulty doing something
- J’ai eu un mal de chien à trouver un taxi ce matin. I had a heck of a time finding a taxi this morning.