French Friday: Coming Soon To Your Inbox

When I lived in France, I had never considered that one day I would be speaking alternatively in English and French every day of my life, for the rest of my life.

Who would have known that this lifestyle would distance me from my homeland, but also reignite a deeper  connection with some of the most interesting aspects of my mother tongue?

I deliberately use “mother tongue” because it’s through my mother’s way of speaking that I noticed the richly evocative vocabulary that most people in Normandy used. Expressions that triggered visuals infused my mother’s conversations.

When I was about five and heard for example that it was not good de “Casser du sucre sur le dos de quelqu’un,” I literally saw someone breaking lumps of sugar on someone’s back. In American English the best equivalent would be bad-mouthing someone. There is a French equivalent for bad-mouth. But who would insist that it is better than breaking sugar on the back of someone? If my mother spoke about someone who had a tough skin this person was a dur à cuire or hard to cook.


It’s only when I moved to California that I started to compile these savourous expressions that have provided me more than just words but sensory feelings.

As much as I love the English language that I find often more effective than French, I adore these French expressions.

Since all languages evolve, some of these French expressions age, fade and even vanish. Others appear. And sometimes, an old one is trendy again.

So without further ado, here is my theme for the 2018 A to Z Challenge:

From A to Z, Twenty-Six Funny, Weird, Vivid French Expressions


From April 1st to the 30th and following the alphabet, participants to the challenge post every day but Sundays. I’ll do the same, and I hope these posts will make you smile, laugh, or maybe think that these French people are even stranger than you thought.

Since I keep finding new expressions, I should be able to pursue this challenge for another two years 🙂

Check your Inbox in April! See you there!


P.S. The flowers are from my backyard. If you and your home are still in winter mode and miss the spring, I hope they will bring a little bit of color to your own yard.




  1. TGIF, Evelyne. Happy weekend hugs.

  2. Très intéressant message fleuri, Evelyne, merci ” dites-le avec des fleurs ” ! 🙂

  3. “Ah, la vache!” What else is there to say. 🙂 Looking forward to it, Evelyne. –Curt

  4. I am looking forward to the challenge, Evelyne. I hope there are a few I can work into my world.

  5. Behind the Story says:

    I’m looking forward to April. Expressions are such fun.

    My daughter learned an interesting new phrase last this week and passed it on to me. She’d read that Harvey Weinstein’s company had entered into a “stalking horse” agreement. So she looked it up. The phrase originated with hunters. They noticed that birds and other fowl are more suspicious of people than they are of horses and cows, so they hid behind their horse until the partridge or goose or duck came near enough to be shot.

    • Well, I also learned a new expression too. Makes sense with the explanation you provide. I hope that you will dicover a few new French expressions as well. Thank you for expressing your interest.

  6. I love idioms. It’s not only that they are unique to a language, they are unique to the sense of the people who speak the language.

    • Yes, it’s true. There are even some that are regional and aren’t used anywhere else. Ultimately I decided to go with the ones understood by all French people. It at least a vast majority. Looking forward to seeing you there in April.

  7. Hi Evelyne,
    So glad that you are continuing the challenge this year with more French expressions. I always learn so much from you!

  8. Good news! I’ll look forward to reading – and learning- through your April posts. And these idioms are often the most enjoyable part of a language.

    • Thanks, Kimberly. I agree with you about the enjoyable part of these expressions, regardless of the language. I bet you’ve noticed their uniqueness now that you live away from the U.S. and met their Italian equivalents.

  9. What a fascinating theme!
    I’m Italian, so I too use two different language constantly (English is my language for writing and for social media). Can’t wait to read your challenge!

    The Old Shelter – Theme Reveal – Weimar Germany

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