Allergies and hay fever in French: rhume des foins, rhinite
Yada yada in French + Your favorite words and expressions

Fourmillement: Restless Legs Syndrome in French

Restless leg syndrome affects men and women and, when it strikes, my face looks very much like this dog's face: Oh no! Not again! (Those legs belong to my friend Tanja. That's her wonderful dog, Ricard. If you like her espadrilles, they are found here, by Soludos.)

TODAY'S WORD: le fourmillement

      : pins and needles, tingling (sensation), itch, numbness
      : swarm, swarming


Le syndrome des jambes sans repos, appelé aussi impatiences dans les jambes ou impatiences nocturnes, est un trouble neurologique qui cause un besoin irrépressible de bouger les jambes. Ce besoin naît d’un inconfort dans les membres inférieurs - fourmillements, picotements, sensations de brûlure -, dont l’intensité varie beaucoup d’une personne à l’autre. Ces sensations désagréables surviennent particulièrement durant les périodes de détente ou d'inactivité. Par conséquent, il peut être très difficile de simplement se reposer, ou encore de rester assis pour assister à une réunion ou de voyager en avion, par exemple. (


Restless leg syndrome, also called impatience in the legs or impatience at night, is a neurological disorder that causes an irrepressible need to move the legs. This need arises from discomfort in the lower limbs - tingling, tingling, burning - the intensity of which varies greatly from person to person. These unpleasant sensations occur especially during periods of relaxation or inactivity. Therefore, it can be very difficult to simply rest, or sit still to attend a meeting or travel by plane, for example. (Google Translation)

Improve your spoken French with Exercises in French Phonetics


    by Kristi Espinasse

I know
one sure-fire way to relieve an agonizing bout of Restless Leg Syndrome--that horrible ailment that attacks during periods of rest. Would you believe it if I told you that a UFO sighting--even so much as the thought of a UFO sighting--will stop those annoying fourmillements--those pins and needles tingling sensations--stop them right in their tracks?

Read on in the following story from the post "EFFRAYEUR" (FRIGHTENING)... and many thanks to C-Marie for bringing up this story in the recent comments section of this blog.

*    *    *

Soludos espadrille
Springtime is around the corner. The French, here down south, are already reaching for their espadrilles. Order a pair here.


Tanjas espadrilles

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Salut, Kristi,

I get restless arms at night, not legs. It is the same feeling... I hate it, and it usually starts when I am ready to go to bed. My husband pinches (really hard) around my arms where it is bothering me. It's like a really painful massage... but then it goes away. Give it a try!

Niall R

Presumably derived from 'fourmi', ants!

Roger Anderson

Espadrilles? What espadrilles?

Patty Cargill

Because of hip pain, I sleep with a big pillow between my legs. I toss and turn a lot and this has helped me to settle down. Certainly not the same as fourmillement but who knows what might bring relief. Love the espadrilles! Love to you and family, Kristi, from a "misty, moisty morning" in Roanoke.

Hattee Christian

Kristi, there are PILLS to relieve restless leg syndrome. I've had it for years and could not live without these little gems. I take Ropinirole HCL 0.25 mg, generic for Requip. And there are others. This is an ailment that won't kill you, for sure, but it will drive you nuts, as you know! Call the doctor!
Hattee Christian
Columbia SC

Susan Louer

Try a massage roller stick from Amazon 18 inch is good because it can travel in your suitcase.


My friends' doctors prescribed the medicine "Gabapentin" and it works wonders for them to eliminate restless legs. It is a terrible affliction. .I hope you find some relief.


Another language lesson: etymologically, "fourmillement" is "the feeling of ants crawling," from Latin formica and then the French fourmis. The medical term for it in English is "formification"!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

My mom has RLS and said it is so annoying. I read that if you have RLS, you need to make sure to get adequate amounts of magnesium, iron, and B-vitamins.

Your friend Tanja has some nice jambes! :-) I picked up a pair of espadrilles for the summer!


Dear Kristi,

A 250 mg magnesium pill every day has been my lifesaver for restless legs. I was very skeptical when my doctor suggested it. But it has proven itself to be a great relief. Bonne chance!


Our dear Kristi,
Once again (always!)you have shown us how gifted a writer you are!
You have taken definitely NOT funny topics and through your warmth and humor
given us smiles (and inspiration!)to face our own challenges of the day.
Natalia. Xo

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these helpful tips. Soaking in a hot bath before bedtime, stopping all caffeine after lunch, and exercise are also said to help--as well as trying not to pay attention to it. As my friend Stacy in Oregon says, what you focus on will grow!

Laura C

As someone who suffered from this - and it's mainly disappeared - what worked out of all the suggestions made was to use aspirin or to drink quinine water as needed. You may recall that quinine water helps a sufferer deal with the effects of malaria (neurological.) Similar dynamics here. Keep a couple of bottles in the cupboard but one cup per night does the job. Cheap. Easy. Actually tasty. No side effects. Quinine is made from the bark of a tree and is available in special groceries as well.

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