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Don't miss today's column "Food-Related French Expressions" for an insight into some charming and useful French sayings. Read it in French and/or English.

bouffer (boo-fay) verb
1. to eat
2. to consume
3. to absorb
4. to puff out

Une bagnole qui bouffe beaucoup d'essence = a car that guzzles gas

la bouffe = food (informal)
la malbouffe = bad grub, junkfood

se bouffer le nez = to dispute with someone; to argue
se faire bouffer = to get creamed (defeated, in sports)
se laisser bouffer par son travail = to be swallowed up by one's work
faire bouffer ses cheveux = to add volume/fullness to one's hair
bouffer du curé, du flic... = to be extremely anticlerical, anti-cop

Citation du Jour:

Le basket, c'est bien; parce que, vu l'état de la bouffe actuellement, je ne vois pas ce qui nous reste d'autre qu'un ballon à mettre dans un panier.

Basketball is good; because, having seen the state of food today, I don't know what's left for us to put into a basket other than a ball. --Laurent Ruquier

Food Related French Expressions

by Barbara Barles

Tout le monde sait qu'une des préoccupations majeures des français concerne l'alimentation... ou "la bouffe" comme on dit chez nous!

C'est peut-être pour cette raison qu'il existe en français autant d'expressions relatives à la nourriture et à ce qui se mange en général. Je vous en propose ici quelques-unes. D'autres pourront suivre si vous avez encore faim!

* * * *

Everyone knows that one of the major preoccupations with the French concerns food.... or "la bouffe" as we say here.

It is perhaps for this reason that there are so many French expressions related to food and to what is eaten in general. I propose a few for you here. Others will follow if you are still hungry!

La moutarde me monte au nez:
"The mustard is getting up my nose"
(= I'm beginning to get angry...)

Tomber dans les pommes: "To fall into the apples" = s'évanouir (to pass out)

Se mêler de ses oignons: "To mind one's own onions"
s'occuper de ses affaires, ne pas se mêler de celles des autres = (to mind one's own business, not to get mixed up in other people's business)

Mi figue-mi raisin: "Half fig-half grape"
Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal. / to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry (smile); a half-humorous, wry remark;

Mettre du beurre dans les épinards:
"To put some butter into one's spinach" = améliorer ses revenus, sa situation / to improve one's financial situation

Donner du lard (ou de la confiture) aux cochons:
"To give fat (or jam) to the pigs" = donner quelque chose à quelqu'un qui ne le mérite pas, qui n'est pas
en mesure de l'apprécier. / To give something to someone who does not deserve it, who is not capable of appreciating it.

Mettre de l'eau dans son vin:
"To put water in one's wine" = se radoucir, se modérer. To moderate oneself

Avoir du pain sur la planche:
"To have bread on the cutting board" avoir beaucoup de travail à faire / to have a lot of work to do

En avoir gros sur la patate:
être triste, avoir du chagrin / to be sad, chagrined

Etre soupe au lait:
"To be milk soup" (the image of soupe boiling over from the addition of milk) = se vexer, s'énerver facilement / to be easily irrited, angered, vexed

Chanter comme une patate:
"To sing like a spud" or "To sing like a potato" (to sing badly)

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