As I imagine many writers do, I have more story-lines in my head than I do time to work on them, which means that sometimes I’m hit with a case of the “Squirrels!” and I deviate from whatever my primary project is. For Game of Thorns— originally a secondary project that I had to back-burner because it grew and changed (as stories do) and will now be my primary project after I finish the Fallen Series— I had the opportunity to do a great deal of research about 18th century France. Being the lover of language that I am, some of my favorite research had to do with French idioms. It’s true that people say the darndest things, and turns of phrase seem to be proof of that.
Since learning is fun and I love sharing knowledge, here are some of the best of the best of the best, Sir!
1. When something is easy for you, you do it “fingers in the nose” (les doigts dans le nez).
I’m pretty sure they’re encouraging me to pick my nose and I don’t say no to much.
2. If you have “an arse full of noodles” (avoir le cul bordé de nouilles), evidently that means you are lucky.
Frankly, I beg to differ. I can think of zero reasons I would want an arse full of noodles. That sounds terrible for arseholes and noodles alike.
3. Beware of the woman who has her bears (avoir ses ours)!
*loudly whispers, “It means she’s menstruating”*
4. “That makes me drunk” (ça me soûle) is the same as saying “that pisses me off.”
Wrong. Clearly I’d rather be drunk.
5. A big job is obviously “a Roman’s work” (c’est un travail de Romain).
I couldn’t not share this one given the Greco-Roman influences and references in the Fallen Series. I mean, obviously.
6. Pussy (in the vulgar sense) is still “pussy” (chatte) in the vulgar sense.
It’s just nice to know that some things are cross-cultural.
7. Settle down you “hot rabbit” (être un chaud lapin), there’s no reason that last one should have made you horny.
It would seem that rabbit references related to sex and horniness are also cross-cultural.
And now I can’t stop with the sex stuff, I’m on a roll.
8. You’ll need to wash your sheets in the morning if you “made a map of France” (faire une carte de France) during the night.
Nope, you didn’t “get lucky”– sorry– you had a wet dream. Better luck next time.
9. Alright, let’s class it up a little. You can find any number of literary references to la petite mort, “the little death;” more commonly known as an orgasm.
If it’s in literature, it’s high brow.
*That’s right. Isn’t that right?*
10. Last, but not least, if something goes down smoothly– as in down one’s throat smoothly– it is “the little Jesus in velvet underwear” (le petit Jésus en culotte de velours).
While I’m at least 20% certain that this one only sounds sexual, all this talk of underwear and things sliding down throats makes it hard to tell.
**And as a bonus idiom– as it is the second half of my title– “to make the sausage” (faire l’andouille) is to do something ridiculous. Something I would know nothing about. But now I’m mixing metaphors, and with that, I bid you adieu.**
This post was originally written January 2016 and posted to my old website.