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A penny for your thoughts?

Colloquial or ‘local’ expressions can be a bit bizarre and hard to explain! They do add colour and humour to any language. Raining cats and dogs? You’ve hit the nail on the head!

Here’s a selection of French idioms to get to know!

Chaleur d’aout c’est du bien partout – in the heat of August, everything is fine.

Meaning – as August is the height of the summer, it describes a certainty that all is good this time of year.


Il fait un temps de chien – the weather has gone to the dogs.

Meaning – describes when it’s pouring rain or is a miserable cold day.


Il pleut des hallebardes – it’s raining halberds (halberd is an ax-like weapon used around the 14th Century.

Meaning – describes a heavy downpour.


Il pleut des cordes – it’s raining ropes.

Meaning – describes a heavy downpour (like ropes).



Une pluie battante –  a beating rain.

Meaning – describes pouring rain that is abundant and heavy.



Trempé comme une soupe – soaked like a soup.

Meaning – describes someone who is soaked after being caught out in heavy rain.



Image source: Halbred illustraion from wikipedia, family caught in rain illustration by Quentin Blake.