Half-Fig Half-Grape or a Month of French Idioms From A to Z

Like a menu the French idiom-du-jour is all about food.




HALF IN EARNEST HALF IN JEST  (more British than American, right?)

Ambiguous and Mixed come to my mind as well as one of my favorite adjectives: “Bittersweet.” What do you think?



Embed from Getty Images


Embed from Getty Images


One said that during Lent people ate figs and grapes, favoring the latest to the former. One also said that the Corinthian merchants added figs to the raisins they sold, probably to increase their profit. In any case, French people say, “Mi-Figue Mi-Raisin” when they want to express ambiguous feelings about someone or something.

A quick but important note: The French say Raisins for Grapes and Raisins Secs (dried grapes) for Raisins.


Thirteen more letters to go! Thank you for keeping up with me with the second half of the alphabet, more challenging than the first.

See you tomorrow!

A to Z Challenge


  1. Good one Evelyne, sort of tongue-in-cheek like half-hearted. Hard challenge!

    • Half-hearted is a good on, in fact, Mary. Thank you for the suggestion. It’s fun for me to dig through the French part of my brain as I go from A to Z. I must admit that the second half of the alphabet, and especially the last letters as you can imagine, present the real challenge. But I’ll get there… Thank you again for your frequent visits to my blog and encouraging comments. Love your work too!

  2. This is a good one. Mary is right, half-hearted is perfect.

    • I knew this one, so it’s interesting that it slipped out of my mind. Thanks for your daily visits, Dan. Only 13 more letters and I’ll return to my slower blog posting habits!

  3. Also, “mixed message” probably applies. Great series.

  4. Thank you for supporting the series, Marilyn. Being half way through is nice! 😊

  5. This is a delicious idiom Evelyne, I can’t think of an equivalent, it strikes me I’m not very good on idioms 🙂

    • It’s not that you aren’t good, Andrea. I think there are less idioms in English than in French. On the other side I think that there are stronger English verbs. Lucky me!

  6. Yes, doesn’t really know what it is… Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

  7. I’ve only ever heard ‘half in earnest, half in jest’ here so yes, I would say definitely more English than American 😉

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