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11 Silly French Expressions Involving Food

The French culture is so heavily based upon food that these food-related expressions have entered into everyday French vocabulary. Rather silly, we've listed our favorite eleven French food expressions below.  

 

 

 

 

 

Pleurer comme une madeleine

 Literally means, "Crying like a madeleine."

This saying refers to when Mary Magdalene, called Marie Madeleine in French, confessed her sins to Jesus, and cried all the tears from her body. In modern day times, this phrase is used to describe  a cry baby. 

 

 

 

 

  

Ramener sa fraise

Literally means, "To bring his/her strawberry." 

The strawberry refers to the person's head, and the phrase is used to describe a person who is inappropriately joining a conversation. 

 

 

 

 

  

La fin des haricots

Literally means, "The end of the beans." 

This is often used to describe a tough situation, as in: that's it; that's the end; nothing is going right anymore. This saying originates from hard times, when the poor didn't even have enough money to buy beans.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le moutarde me monte au nez

Literally means, "Mustard is going up my nose."

This expression is used when you are starting to get angry, or when something is getting to you. It refers to the burning feeling of eating something with too much mustard. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raconter des salades

Literally means, "Recounting salads."

In French, if a person is recounting salads, they are telling lies. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casser du sucre sur le dos de quelqu'un 

Literally means, "To break sugar on someone's back."

In the 19th century, the verb "to sugar" also meant to treat someone poorly. Over time, this saying developped to refer to spreading rumors or lies about someone. 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Rouge comme une tomate

Literally means, "Red as a tomato."

Just as it sounds, this saying refers to someone who is blushing because of a strong emotion, and thus, they are as red as a tomato. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On n'attrape pas les mouches avec du vinaigre 

Literally means, "You can't catch flies with vinegar."

This is a French version of our saying, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Être le dindon de la farce

Literally means, "To be the turkey in the stuffing."

This refers to a person who is the butt of a joke, or a person who is not in on the joke, just as the turkey in stuffing would be the odd one out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomber dans les pommes

Literally means, "To fall in the apples."

While the origins of this expression are uncertain, it describes someone who has fainted, or is in a great state of fatigue. 

 

 

 

 

Which one was your favorite? Can you think of any funny food sayings? 

 

 

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