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




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Literally: Let go off the baskets (remember: baskets are sneakers in French)

Best equivalent: Give a break (to someone)


Lâche-moi les baskets, for example, would be “give me a break,” or “get off my back.”


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



  1. That’s interesting. I like expressions like that, because sometimes people need to be told to give a guy a break.

    • Agree:)
      I already blogged about my early funny mistakes when I left France. “Basket” is one of these words that puzzled everyone around me when I used them. Once, my preschool daughter (she was only two and we had been in the US for less than a year) asked her teacher “to tie her baskets.” The teacher had no idea that the French called their sneakers baskets. She laughed when I told her that my daughter wanted some help to tie her sneakers. Two years ago, I blogged about these little French and American words that take a whole different meaning, whether used in France or the USA. They keep popping in, particularly in France, now so eager to use American words in their daily life 🙂
      Thank you, Dan for another visit.

  2. Bonjour Evelyne. C’est drôle, cette expression. Je me demande si c’est très familier ?

  3. I bet if they’d taught this in school, I’d remember my French a LOT better 😀

    • Ha ha! I agree that these are more fun that the conjugaisons:)
      I would have loved to learn American expressions when I took mandatory English in France rather than British history that was basically lots of fights with France:)

  4. I could see that if you were holding onto someone’s sneakers, it would slow him down, hold him back. I like it. –Curt

    • It’s another funny and a little odd one. But I think it means what you say. Get off my back is pretty much the same too.
      Tomorrow will show how France and the USA almost agree 🙂

  5. Hi Evelyne – this is funny … I too laughed – I wrote a post about sneakers … because of course we Brits don’t (didn’t perhaps!) call them sneakers … but now I could use baskets here … I’ve used trombone – when I wanted a paper clip – funny old life … wonderful to hear you speak the phrases – cheers Hilary

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