French phrases and expressions can be very colorful and odd, as well as funny! For example, the French commonly like to include animals in funny French phrases:
When a French-person needs to clear his or her throat, they don't say I have a frog in my throat, as an English speaking person would, but rather a cat!
Here are some of the most basic funny French phrases to get you started. Further on in this lesson we will look at the pronunciation of these and more French phrases.
Let's get started...
Resources for further reading:
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J'ai un chat dans la gorge.
I have a frog in my throat. (literally: I have a cat in the throat.)
If you don't show up to a rendez-vous in France, your angry friend will tell everyone:
Il m'a posé un lapin !
He stood me up!
He will be even more furious if he has been waiting in the cold, and will add:
Il fait un froid de canard !
It's freezing cold! (literally: the weather is a cold of duck!)
He will then probably feel a little down, and say:
J'ai le cafard.
I feel down. (literally: I have the cockroach.)
If someone asks why you didn't show up, he will probably say:
Je donne ma langue au chat.
I have no idea. (literally: I give my tongue to the cat)
Body parts are also used in a lot of funny expressions in French: Paris streets can be quite noisy, and French drivers tend to use the horn too frequently. Pedestrians will often complain:
Ça me casse les oreilles !
This noise is a pain! (literally: It's breaking my ears!)
The ears are not the only part of the body that can be broken: if a child is being annoying and tiresome to you, you can tell him:
Tu me casses les pieds !
You're getting on my nerves! (literally: You're breaking my feet!)
If the child won't stop and you need to confiscate his favourite toy, he will probably sulk. You can then ask him:
Tu fais la tête ?
Are you sulking? (literally: Are you making a head?)
Don't get caught out by this expression, which is used when you want to give a helping hand to somebody, and doesn't imply any aggressiveness or anger!
Laisse-moi te donner un coup de main !
Let me give you a helping hand!
If you're feeling healthy and confident, you can proudly say:
Je suis bien dans ma peau.
I feel good about myself. (literally: I'm well in my skin)
The reputation is true; the French love food, cooking, good wine and fine restaurants! This is something you could guess from some of the expressions that are used in France: If someone is a little too nosy, and you need to tell him to mind his own business, you can say:
Occupe-toi de tes oignons!
Mind your own business! (literally: Take care of your onions!)
You could even add:
Tu mets toujours ton grain de sel dans mes affaires !
You always put your two cents in my business! (literally: You always put your grain of salt in my business!)
If he won't stop, and you're furious against him, you could tell him:
Va te faire cuire un œuf !
Get lost! (literally: Go and cook yourself an egg!)
If your friend is upset, and you want to tell him it's not that serious, you can tell him:
N'en fais pas tout un fromage !
Don't make a fuss about it! (literally: Don't make a whole cheese of it!)
But your friend could be really offended and even tell you:
J'en ai ras le bol!
I'm fed up! (literally: I have a bowl full of it!)
A French speaker has quite a few fruity possibilities to say how energized they are. If you're in top form, you can say:
J'ai la pêche !
I'm feeling great! (literally: I have the peach!)
J'ai la banane !
I'm feeling great! (literally: I have the banana!)
J'ai la frite !
I'm feeling great! (literally: I have the chip!)
J'ai la patate !
I'm feeling great! (literally: I have the potato!)
If you're in top form, you could as well go out and have fun. But before heading to the club, you'll have to dress up. When they see you, your French friends will tell you:
Tu es sur ton trente-et-un !
You're all dressed up! (literally: You're on your thirty-one!)
If you want to learn more French phrases then have a look at these other popular lessons:
À bientôt !
Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities! These activities are scientifically designed to improve your knowledge and retention of French.