To Lick the Shop Windows or a Month of French Idioms From A to Z

Literal translation was my way of life when I arrived in the States, leading to interesting conversations.

The day I told a new acquaintance that I would love to accompany her to the mall but that I would probably only lick the shop windows, she glanced at me in a puzzled and slightly worried way.


Faire du Léche Vitrine/Lécher les Vitrines

To Lick the Shop Windows

To Do Some Window-Shopping



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The French verb Lécher means to Lick but can also carry the notions of admiration and pleasure. For example, a polished work, especially artistic, will be léché in French. So it makes sense (at least to me and the French!) that lécher the shop windows, while admiring clothes, shoes, or anything in display, is the right expression to illustrate this leisurely pleasant activity.

Hands-on experiences present some challenges and mistakes can be embarrassing, yet they remain, in my opinion, the best it not only ways to learn.

Thanks to an invitation to the mall, I learned that Americans do window-shopping while the French lick the shop windows.


I’ll meet you halfway through the alphabet, bright and early tomorrow!

A to Z Challenge


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