Learn these French sayings

Every language has its own quirks and funny sayings that seem quite strange if you don’t speak the language. French, for example, has many strange sayings that make tons of sense to them, but if you translate them in English, then they make zero sense. If you’re interested in learning typical French sayings, here are 8 popular French sayings and their English translation (with an explanation of course!).

Who knows, you might like so much that you’ll use them in your everyday life. We bet people will admire your deep knowledge of the French language. And it’s always funny to know some fun facts about a language!

1Avoir un chat dans la gorge (have a cat in the throat)


Obviously, if you want to understand French sayings, you can’t take them literally or else you’ll be quite freaked out by the French and their customs. To have a cat in the throat obviously does not mean to have a real cat in your throat. It means that your throat is scratchy or tickling, this usually happens out of nowhere when people start coughing and they’ll say they have a cat in their throat.

2Courir sur le haricot (run on the bean)


A human cannot run on a green bean of course. This French saying comes from the 19th century, and it means that someone is really bothersome. Some say the saying comes from the folktale of Jack and the Beanstalk (when an actual human can run on a giant green bean).

3Avoir la gueule de bois (have a wooden mouth)


If you’ve had a long night of partying and drinking, you probably wake up the next day with a gueule de bois. This saying means that you are hungover, in the sense that you are parched, dehydrated and need to drink 40 litres of water because your mouth feels like the Saharan desert. If you like to drink and party, you can easily include it in your daily vocabulary.