Kif-Kif or a Month of French Idioms From A to Z

Today I am at loss and there are still fifteen letters to go!

I can’t find a literal English translation to this short and popular French expression. The English equivalent I offer is correct, although I’d love for you to help me find a smarter one, if it does exist.

The ties between North Africa and France sadly go back to the times of colonization. But with bad things come good things. Among them the great North African cuisine that plays a big part in the French culture. Anyone who ever ate a real couscous, a méchoui (lamb slowly cooked above an open fire pit) or the North African pastries that go so well with mint tea knows what I’m talking about.

In addition to cuisine, a few expressions have slipped from one culture to another.

 

KIF-KIF

IT’S ALL THE SAME

IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE

 

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This expression comes from the Arab word Kif, which means Similar. Kif-Kif comes with a few variants but this one is the most widely used in France. Qu’en dites vous les français?

We say “Kif-Kif” in French when there are two ways to do something, two ways to go somewhere, when one approach to a problem or another won’t make any difference.

My husband and I sometimes use different routes to drive somewhere. Think Google maps versus a car GPS. If both routes are equivalent in terms of distance and time spent behind the wheel, we can agree that the two itineraries are Kif-Kif.

And if I had to pick between the two lillies above and decide which one is the prettiest, I would say, “C’est kif-kif.”

 

See you tomorrow for the letter du jour!

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