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



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Literally: to care about one’s own onions

Best equivalent: mind one’s own business


The expression could have American origins. In the 1920s, many onion species grew in the U.S. People who worked in this field developed skills to learn how to distinguish the different kinds. Soon, they minded about their particular species, which became their exclusive business. Who knows for sure? What is sure, however, is that the French expression is used to remind someone to mind her/his own business.

The French can also say: Ce ne sont pas tes oignons. Literally: they are not your onions. In both expressions, oignons never designate onions but anything related to personal business.


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

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