To Drink the Cup or a Month of French Idioms From A to Z

Now for the letter B, a French expression that is used when someone accidently swallows a large amount of water while swimmimg. The expression originates from the late eighteenth century and was first used in a figurative context when someone had lost a lot of money in a business. Now the French might favor the expression Boire le Bouillon (Drink the Broth) in the business context rather than Boire la Tasse.


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A to Z Challenge


  1. How interesting! Eveylne would love it if you could record saying these words so we can hear and appreciate the Month of French Idioms.

    • Interesting that you mention it, Mary. That was my intention, but I’m clueless when it comes to recording my voice from my blog. Do you know if it’s possible? It would be a bonus for non-native French speakers, I agree. I should check my options and I will do it if I can.

  2. Ugh, I hate that feeling.

  3. I remember drinking the (chlorinated) cup a lot while learning to swim!

  4. I love your theme of French idioms, I am definitely checking this out everyday since I am taking a french class at college and this is good to store in the brain!

    • Glad I can help, Sophia. I made so many mistakes when I arrived in California that I know first hand how challenging it is to learn another language and to try to master its complexity. I hope to see you soon. As early as tomorrow if you want!

  5. Yikes! I’m afraid this is exactly what would happen to me in the water. Parce que je ne sais pas nager !

  6. Sisyphus47 says:

    J’apprend quelque chose aussi! Une très bonne idée 🙂

    • Vous devez en connaitre un rayon en expressions françaises, non? Je me rends compte que je viens d’en utiliser une autre dans mon commentaire, d’ailleurs!!!!

  7. I’m amazed you have an expression for this Evelyne – and I have to say they do sound much more evocative in French!

    • Thank you, Andrea. The French language is very visual when it comes to such popular expressions. I’m lucky because I grew up in Normandy where most people used these idioms on a regular basis. In my early days in the States I had no idea that they could be so different and translated them in a very literal way, to the amusement of most as you can imagine. The choice is larger in French than in American English, even though I think that the English language is very strong and a great tool for writers.

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