As of June 30, 2018, live e-Tutoring has been discontinued.
Please click here for more information.

Idiomatic expressions and slang

Sev
edited January 2013 in French
Ni vu ni connu, j't'embrouille. ("you didn't see me, you didn't know me, I fool(ed) you") 

(lit. "not seen, not known, I muddle you up/confuse you")' used when someone just played a trick or did a mischief.

Comments

  • Also translated into English as "na, na na, na na!" Of course with the right intonation.

    I like that one a lot. My favorite was always: Encore une comme ça, et je me colle au plafond! Do people still say that? Or is it yet another example of my early nineties fossilized French?
  • Thank you Chris for this comment. And indeed, intonation (in all languages) adds many subtle layers to meanings...

    Encore une comme ça, et j'me colle au plafond!  Très drôle :)
    I think it may indeed be one of those expressions that people used to say in recent past. Like in english, they get recycled so fast!
  • Ni vu ni connu, j't'embrouille.  ---> Ce sens comme quelquechose je dois dire a toutes mes ex-petits amies.  Mais je dois changer la derniere parte de la phrase a: tu m'embrouille!!!!!  


  • Attends: pourquoi est-ce que c'est: I fooled YOU.  Why not you fooled ME?  Or is it just idiomatic comme ca?

  • Roe, I realize my explanation may not have been clear enough.

    "J't'embrouille" = "Je t'embrouille" (meaning J'embrouille 'toi'), which translates literally into "I tangle/mix/confuse you" (I'm fooling you). Think of "oeufs brouillés" (scrambled eggs) !

    Essentially, imagine for instance you are a (petty) criminal, and you just performed a deed where no one saw you or your trick, as in a perfect crime. You later boast your action to some people, proud of your cunning, and say: "je leur ai joué un bon tour, ni vu, ni connu, j' t'embrouille!" (I played them a cool trick, no one saw or knew anything, I fool(ed) you)

    It works really only as a first person, so sorry, you couldn't use this for your ex's :)

    Hope this helps :)
  • Sev
    edited February 2013
    There is a somewhat fancy expression in French which nevertheless has a beautiful ring to it:

    c'est le nec plus ultra (it's the ultimate)

    It's a locution (figure of speech) from Latin which signifies 'nothing further beyond', and a motto associated with the Pillars of Hercules marking the edge of the world.

    Examples: 
    - "c'est le nec plus ultra en matière de technologie."(It's the ultimate when it comes to technology.) 
    - "c'est le nec plus ultra de l'art."(It's the ultimate in art.)

    (More French examples here)
  • Sev
    edited February 2013
    Casser les pieds à quelqu'un (to annoy someone; lit. to break someone's feet) is a very common expression in France. 

    Example: "Tu commences vraiment à me casser les pieds!" (You're really starting to annoy me!)

    A variant: Taper sur les nerfs de quelqu'un (to get on someone's nerves' lit. to hit on someone's nerves).

    Example: "Elle me tape sur les nerfs avec ses histoires de fric!" (She's getting on my nerves with her problems with money (slang))
  • 'tenir le coup' (can be used with 'avec'): to withstand, to manage

    Example: "Tu tiens le coup avec tous ces problèmes?" (You manage with all these problems?)
  • 'Cela va sans dire' (it goes without saying)

    Also with a similar meaning: 'Cela va de soi' (lit. This goes by itself)



  • Sev
    edited March 2013
    A beautiful word in my opinion:

    'à l'instar de' (following the example of, after the fashion of)

    Pronunciation: ah l' uh(n)-stahr

    It comes from the latin 'ad instar' (In the likeness of). 

  • Some colloquial words you will hear in France or with French people:

    - un mec (a guy). Can also be used to talk about a boyfriend ('son mec')

    - une nana (a chick). Same as above, but for a girlfriend.


  • Want to be as French as can be? Try some of these idiomatic expressions.
Register or Sign In to comment.