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A penny for your thoughts?

Colloquial or ‘local’ expressions can be bizarre, but 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.



  1. Tomber dans les pommes – to fall in the apples

Meaning: to faint or pass out


  1. Cracher dans la soupe – spitting in the soup

Meaning: to do or say something that will cause a problem for you


  1. Donner sa langue au chat – to give your tongue to the cat

Meaning: to give up


  1. Côuter les yeux de la tete – to cost the eyes in your head

Meaning: something that costs an unreasonable price


  1. Se noyer dans un verre d’eau – to drown oneself in a glass of water

Meaning: to treat something as being more difficult and more serious than it is


Keep your ears peeled for these in your future French conversations!