By now you may have noticed that food is part of many popular French expressions. No doubt that food and perhaps more importantly the rituals around food matter in France. Today in the series of French Idioms from A to Z, a very common expression that I heard a lot, growing up in a French middle class family where nothing was wasted, even less food, and where saving was my parents’ way of life.
GARDER UNE POIRE POUR LA SOIF
TO KEEP A PEAR FOR THE THIRST
TO KEEP OR TO SAVE FOR THE RAINY DAYS
This expression would go back to the 16th century, using the juicy pear, a fruit able to quench the thirst, as a metaphor for the necessity to save for the unpredictable moments in life.
If you just started to read this series, I have to tell you that in my early days in the USA I always thought in French before speaking in English. Literal translation, I found out, rarely works.
So yes, I’ve said once to someone that it was a good idea to keep a pear for the thirst in the same way I told another that I had a cat in my throat (a frog restrospectively would have made more sense for the French!) and that I liked men in smokings (tuxedos).
See you tomorrow!