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

 

LA FIN DES HARICOTS

 

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Literally: The end of the French beans

Best equivalents: It is the end of it all. The end of the road, when all hope is lost.

 

One said that the expression took roots in boarding schools, where food was meager. Beans were part of each meal, so when there were not even beans left, that was the end of everything. Others mention origins dating as far back as the Middle Ages where hunger was frequent. In any case, the expression signals a loss of hope and can be used in different contexts. Just a few examples:

When it is obvious that a soccer team won’t possibly catch up with its opponent, when a business can only close, when someone has to go bankrupt, when a relationship is deteriorating so much that there is no hope to salvage it.

 

See you tomorrow for the letter I, part of the A to Z challenge!

 

 

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