Lately I told an English-speaking friend that I didn’t see why people font tout un plat over Natalie Portman. Though a good French speaker, she didn’t understand the expression. I then explained that “make all a dish about something” was to make a fuss. That’s when my husband confessed he understood all the fuss about Portman…
Anyway, this gave me the idea to list and compare a few idiomatic expressions of both languages.
In my previous article, we saw the way the French conceive food. So I focused on expressions and sayings related to it, and there are many.
For instance, instead of faire tout un plat I could have said faire un fromage (make a cheese) over Nathalie Portman. By the way, we call important people and celebrities des huiles (oils) or big fish.
If we’re not feeling well we say we’re not dans notre assiette (in our plate), but if you’re the one bringing a salary home, boiling in la marmite (cooking pot) and putting du beurre dans les épinards (butter in the spinach), you nevertheless have some pain sur la planche (bread on the board: lots of work). And you’d better not be aux fraises (picking strawberries), which means suck at what you do.
Friends. Often they tell us salads (bullshit) or flan (custard). Remember Grease’s ending scene, when Olivia Newton-John boldly tells John Travolta “tell me about it, stud”? Well, it’s been translated into French by "vends-moi tes salades, mec". Not the same impact, believe me. Anyway, you might sarcastically feel like asking the liar if he/she thinks that mon cul c’est du poulet (is my ass made of chicken)? Excuse my French. I’m sorry, this makes me blush, je me fais péter la tomate (I’m blowing up my tomato).
Whatever happens, one should never poke their nose in someone else’s onions, or everything could go flat like a soufflé. We would make boudin (blood sausage: sulk) and then have to watch over them like le lait sur le feu (milk on the stove). Especially if they’re pouring some oil on the fire. Surely they’re up to no good, they mijotent quelque chose (to long cook something). In this case, we might want to tell said friend to go se faire cuire un oeuf (cook themselves an egg: get lost). Friendship is not de la tarte (piece of cake) and, cerise sur le gâteau (icing on the cake), when wheat or sorrel (money) are involved everything gets even more complex. Especially if a potato (a million) is at stake. Of course everybody wants le beurre et l’argent du beurre (the butter and the money for the butter) but you can’t have it all, can you?
It’s important to have good friends who will be there for us. When we’re young and in splendid shape, or have la pêche. But as the years pass, we obviously take some bottle and it’s good to still have people who care when we grow old, have poivre et sel in our hair (salt and pepper) or begin sucrer les fraises (spread sugar on the strawberries), which is tremble and shake. Those ones will still like us because they know that it’s in the old pots that the best soup is made. That’s why befriending the wrong person would be like giving jam to the pigs. A shame.
But in the end, genuine friends will be there when we mangerons les pisselits par la racine (eat the dandelions by the root).
Now you’re sure to have a brilliant and witty conversation during your next dinner party, entre la poire et le fromage (between the pear and the cheese). Just before putting the meat in the table cloth (going to bed).
Celui-ci était un peu "facile" et en plus j'ai merdouillé sur "être dans son assiette", qui, comme me l'ont fait remarquer de spirituels amis, se rapporte à l'équitation.
Mais il faudrait quand même que j'écrive exprès pour ce blog hein! Ou que je fasse appel à SG. Depuis la naissance de Jacques (oh my), Gabriella et Charlotte, elle ronge son frein.
Wait and see mes kikis!
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