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French French speaking countries

Tu peux perdre une carte, mais pas quinze.

Reference USED On Occasion BY Some People

(You can lose one card, but not fifteen.) • This sentence comes from the film "Les Tuches 2", and it is the moment where the main character cannot find his 15 credits cards. He starts saying "You can lose 1 card, but not 15", then "You can lose 2 cards, but not 15", and so on, until he reaches "You can lose 15 cards, but not 15. Oh, you can actually." Some people reuse this sentence by changing "lose" and "card" by other words, like "fail" and "exam" for example. It is a way of making fun of a situation that isn't that enjoyable.

"Tu peux accrocher une voiture, mais pas quinze ! A la rigueur deux, mais pas quinze ! ... Tu peux accrocher quinze voitures, mais pas quinze ! Oh ben si en fait."

"You can hit a car, but not fifteen! Well, maybe two, but not fifteen! ... You can hit fifteen cars, but not fifteen! Oh, you can actually."



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French Belgium

baraki

Word USED Frequently BY Most People

(n.) • It describes uncivilized people who often wear tracksuits and a golden chain. They have an old car and often spend their days at bars. They are known to admire the USA, so they usually name their children Kévin, Dylan, Kimberley, Cindy, etc. They are also known to be stupid and sometimes vulgar. Those stereotypical people are known to live in low-income neighbourhoods.

"Il y a souvent des barakis à la buvette du club de foot de mon frère."

"There are often barakis at the refreshment bar at my brother's football club."



French French speaking countries

bouche-trou

Word USED On Occasion BY Young People

(n.) • (hole-filler) • It describes a person used as a replacement of another person in a group.

"Elle a parfois l'impression d'être le bouche-trou de la bande ; elle est invitée à manger ou faire la fête avec eux seulement quand ça les arrangent."

"She sometimes has the feeling of being the group hole-filler; she's invited to eat or party with them only when it suits them."

Confirmed by 10 people



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French French speaking countries

saigner des yeux

Expression USED On Occasion BY Some People

(to bleed from the eyes) • Used when you see or hear something very unpleasant.

"Je saigne des yeux à chaque fois que je lis ses messages : il fait tellement de fautes d'orthographes!"

"I bleed from the eyes whenever I read his messages: he does so many spelling mistakes!"

Confirmed by 8 people



French French speaking countries

se prendre un râteau

Expression USED Frequently BY People Under 30

(to take oneself a rake) • Used when you tell someone that you like him/her and (s)he doesn't like you back. When you are the one whose feelings are hurt, you "take yourself a rake". When you are the one who hurts the other person's feelings, you "give a rake" (mettre un râteau).

"Je me suis pris un râteau hier... Je lui ai dit que je l'aimais bien et il m'a répondu : "Désolé, t'es pas mon type"."

"I took myself a rake yesterday... I told him that I liked him and he replied: "Sorry, you're not my type"."

Confirmed by 7 people



French French speaking countries

voilà voilà

Interjection USED On Occasion BY Most People

When you finish telling something that might be awkward, sad or another quite negative feeling, you often end the story with "voilà voilà". The use and tone is different from the enthusiastic "voilà!".

"Hier, je marchais dans la rue tout en buvant mon café, et j'ai glissé sur une peau de banane. Je suis tombé et j'ai renversé mon café très chaud sur moi. Malheureusement, la rue était bondée, donc tout le monde m'a vu tomber. Voilà voilà..."

"Yesterday, I was walking down the street while drinking my coffee, and I slipped on a banana peel. I fell and spilled my very hot coffee on myself. Unfortunately, the street was crowded, so everyone saw me falling. So there you go..."

Confirmed by 9 people



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French French speaking countries

prendre ses jambes à son cou

Expression USED On Rare Occasion BY Adults

(to take you legs to your neck) • To run away as fast as possible.

"A chaque fois que Bip Bip voit Coyote, il prend ses jambes à con cou."

"Whenever the Road Runner sees Wile E. Coyote, he takes his legs to his neck."

Confirmed by 7 people



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French French speaking countries

prendre la poudre d'escampette

Expression USED On Very Rare Occasion BY Adults

To run away, to flee.

"Hier, ma maison a été cambriolée, et au moment où je cherchais les voleurs, ils avaient déjà pris la poudre d'escampette."

"Yesterday, my house was robbed, and when I looked for the thieves, they had already fled."

Confirmed by 7 people



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French French speaking countries

avoir été bercé trop près du mur

Expression USED On Very Rare Occasion BY Adults

(to have been rocked too close to the wall) • It's a way to say that a person is stupid. By being rocked near a wall, a baby's head could be bumped and cause damage to the brain.

"Jenny, un des personages de la BD "Les Nombrils", a été bercé trop très du mur. Je n'ai jamais vu quelqu'un d'aussi débile mais tellement drôle!"

"Jenny, one of the "The Bellybuttons" comic characters, was rocked too close to the wall. I've never seen a person that stupid but so funny!"

Confirmed by 6 people



French French speaking countries

ne pas être fût-fût

Expression USED On Occasion BY Some People

(not to be clever-clever) • Used to refer to a dumb person or a person doing stupid things, but it's lighter than saying that a person is stupid. It comes from "fûté", that means "clever".

"Cette fille n'est vraiment pas fût-fût; elle pense que les lions sont des animaux marins!"

"That girl really isn't clever-clever; she thinks that lions are marine animals!"

Confirmed by 5 people



French French speaking countries

avoir la tête dans le cul

Expression USED On Occasion BY Some People

(to have the head in the butt) • It means to be feeling hazy, tired or not feeling that well.

"J'ai la tête dans le cul ce matin: j'ai à peine dormi de la nuit."

"I have the head in the butt this morning: I've barely slept this night."

Confirmed by 6 people



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French French speaking countries

pognon

Slang USED Frequently BY Most People

(n.) • Money.

"Tu peux me prêter un peu de pognon stp?"

"Can you lend me some money please?"

Confirmed by 5 people



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French French speaking countries

oseille

Slang USED Frequently BY Some People

(n.) • (sorrel) • Money.

"J'ai grave besoin d'oseille!"

"I really need sorrel!"

Confirmed by 5 people



French French speaking countries

être le vilain petit canard

Expression USED On Very Rare Occasion BY Some People

(to be the bad little duckling) • Refers to a person who is disliked by other people and left aside because (s)he is (physically, morally, etc) different from the others.

"Cet enfant est le vilain petit canard de sa classe ; tout le monde se moque de lui parce qu'il boite."

"This child is the bad little duckling of his class; everyone laughs at him because he has a limp."

Confirmed by 6 people



French French speaking countries

être comme chien et chat

Expression USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

(to be like dog and cat) • Used to describe people who are constantly in conflict, like cats and dogs, that are believed to dislike each other.

"Ma soeur en moi sommes comme chien et chat : il est impossible pour nous de s'entendre plus de quelques minutes. Nous nous disputons tout le temps."

"My sister and I are like dog and cat: it's impossible for us to get along more than a few minutes. We are always arguing."

Confirmed by 7 people



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French French speaking countries

la semaine des quatre jeudis

Expression USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

(the week of the four Thursdays) • Used to express that something will never happen. In the past, Thursday was a break day for pupils and teachers. So, having a week with four Thursdays would have been a wonderful dream, but it will never happen.

" - Quand vas-tu me présenter à tes parents? - La semaine des quatre jeudis."

" - When will you introduce me to your parents? - On the week of the four Thursdays."

Confirmed by 4 people



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French French speaking countries

vieux jeu

Word USED On Rare Occasion BY Adults

(adj.) • (old game) • Describes a person with old-fashioned manners or way of thinking.

"Elle est un peu vieux jeu ; selon elle, ce sont les garçons qui doivent faire le premier pas."

"She is a bit old game; in her view, boys should make the first move."

Confirmed by 5 people



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French Belgium

baptême

Word USED On Occasion BY Students

(n.) • (baptism) • An initiation ritual in Belgian universities in order to join one of the university groups. The students who succeed in the initiation are called "baptisés" (= baptised). The "bleus" (= "blues"; the students doing the initiation) have to take part in various activities for a few weeks. A "baptême" is a bit like fraternities and sororities in the US, but there's no attention payed to gender, no restricted number of members, and the baptised don't live together.

"J'ai l'intention de faire mon baptême quand j'irai à l'université, comme ça je pourrai rencontrer des gens plus facilement."

"I intend to do my baptism when I go to university so that I can meet people more easily."

Confirmed by 4 people



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French Belgium

guindaille

Word USED Very frequently BY Students

(n.) • This word refers to student parties, often in university towns, where beer is highly consumed. There is also music, often old French songs, and student songs. You can also use the verb "guindailler".

"A chaque fois que je vais en guindaille, je deviens mort bourré."

"Whenever I go to guindaille, I get very drunk."

Confirmed by 3 people



French French speaking countries

en mettre sa main à couper

Expression USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

(to put one's hand out to be cut) • Te be extremely sure of something. So sure that you would let your hand to be cut if you're wrong.

"Mon rouge à lèvre a encore disparu! J'en mets ma main à couper que c'est ma soeur qui l'a pris!'

"My lipstick disappeared again! I put my hand out to cut that my sister took it!"

Confirmed by 5 people



French Belgium

tirer son plan

Expression USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

(to pull out one's map) • To cope on one's own.

"Je vous accompagnerai à l'école et vous aiderai avec vos devoirs durant la première semaine. Après ça, vous tirez votre plan."

"I will accompany you to school and help you with your homework during the first week. After that, you'll have to cope on your own."

Confirmed by 5 people



French French speaking countries

avoir les dents longues

Expression USED On Rare Occasion BY Older Generations

(to have long teeth) • To be very ambitious and aim high, but in a pejorative way. You would do anything to reach your goal.

"Les soeurs de Cendrillon ont les dents longues et sont prêtes à tout pour se marier avec le prince."

"Cinderella's sisters have long teeth and they are willing to do anything in order to marry the prince."

Confirmed by 5 people



French French speaking countries

avoir un cheveu sur la langue

Expression USED On Occasion BY Most People

(to have a hair on one's tongue) • To lisp.

"J'ai l'impression que beaucoup d'enfants ont un cheveu sur la langue quand ils parlent."

"It seems that many children have a lisp when they speak."

Confirmed by 6 people



French & Dutch Belgium

kot

Word USED Frequently BY Students

(n.) • Typical Belgian word used by Dutch- and French-speakers. It is a student accommodation, often a flat shared with other students.

"Ce soir, je fais une pré à mon kot; tu viendras?"

"Tonight, I'm having a preparty at my dorm; will you come?"

Confirmed by 7 people



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French Belgium

a tantôt

Standard Phrase USED Frequently BY Everyone

See you later.

"Je vais y aller maintenant, à tantôt!"

"I'm going now, see you later!"

Confirmed by 2 people



French Belgium

touriste

Word USED On Occasion BY Young People

(tourist) • It refers to students who never have their materials (pen, sheets of paper, ...) or know what they are supposed to do in class.

"Dis, tu peux me passer une feuille? Et un stylo? Et, on doit faire quoi?" "Mec, t'es vraiment un touriste!"

"Hey, can you give me a sheet of paper? And a pen? And, what are we supposed to do?" "Dude, you're such a tourist!"

Confirmed by 2 people



Albanian Albania

të trashegoheni

Expression USED On Occasion BY Adults

(that you have an inheritance) • Said to a newlywed couple to wish them an inheritance, so children.

"Urime çifti i ri! Të trashegoheni dhe të keni një jetë të lumtur!"

"Congratulations to the new couple! That your have an inheritance and a happy life!"



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Albanian Albania

të lumshin duart

Standard Phrase USED On Occasion BY Everyone

(bless your hands) • When you eat something tasty, you say this sentence to the person who cooked it. In some contexts, it can also be used to congratulate someone who did a good job with their hands (a writer, an artist, ...).

"Gatimi ishte shumë e shijshme, të lumshin duart!"

"The cooking was very tasty, bless your hands!"



French French speaking countries

se prendre un vent

Expression USED On Occasion BY Most People

(to take oneself a wind) • Used when someone is being ignored when saying something. "Vent" (= wind) stands for the sound it makes, so the only answer that the person gets. Sometimes, you can replace "vent" by "tornade", "tsunami", "ouragan", etc. which are stronger kinds of wind, so a stronger silence after one's words.

Personne 1 -"Ça vous dit de venir manger chez moi ce soir?" Personne 2 - Pas de réaction. Personne 3 (à personne 1) - "Tu viens de te prendre un de ces vents!"

Person 1 - "Would you like to come and eat at my place tonight?" Person 2 - No reaction. Person 3 (to person 1) - "You've just taken yourself one of those winds!"

Confirmed by 3 people



French French speaking countries

Tanguy

Name USED On Occasion BY Some People

Used to describe adults in their late twenties still living at their parents'. It comes from the movie "Tanguy" by Étienne Chatiliez.

"Mon fils est un Tanguy: il a 35 ans ans, est célibataire et vit toujours chez moi. Je ne sais pas quoi faire pour qu'il parte vivre de lui-même!"

"My son is a Tanguy: he is 35, single and still lives at my house. I don't know what to do to make him go and live on his own!"

Confirmed by 4 people



French Belgium

trop bien!

Interjection USED Frequently BY Young People

(so good!) • Used to say that something is cool.

"Je viens de gagner un voyage!" "Oh, trop bien!"

"I've just won a trip!" "That's so cool!"

Confirmed by 3 people



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French North of France, France

il drache

Standard Phrase USED On Occasion BY Some People

(it's pouring) • Used when it rains heavily.

"Il vaut mieux rester à l'intérieur vu qu'il drache dehors."

"It's better to stay inside since it's pouring outside."

Confirmed by 7 people