French sayings often involve food! And why? France is a country that loves food, of course.
In fact, French people love food so much it often crops up as either a topic of conversation or a form of expression. There are many ways of bandying fruit laced idioms or meaty insults to describe people and things.
Here is a collection of a few French favourite food related sayings:
Avoir un coeur d’artichaud
Translation: To have an artichoke heart
Meaning: To fall in love easily
Tomber dans les pommes
Translation: To fall in the apples
Meaning: To faint
Avoir la peche
Translation: To have a peach
Meaning: To be very happy, to smile or to be in great health
Fin des haricots
Translation: The end of the beans
Meaning: It’s the end of the world
Translation: a quiche
Meaning: Someone stupid or with below average intelligence
Mettre de l’eau dans son vin
Translation: To put water in one’s wine
Meaning: To back off of a firmly held point of view during an argument
Un vrai navet
Translation: A real turnip
Meaning: A bust, a dudd or something that’s generally not good
Baigner dans son jus
Translation: To bathe in one’s own juices
Meaning: To be really filthy or dirty
Meaning: The meanings of these two words are not easy to explain, but let’s begin by saying that despite their different origins, they are sometimes confused with one another because of their common meaning.
Rumour has it that “Bof” is actually an acronym for Boeuf (beef), oeuf (egg) and fromage (cheese). The term was apparently first coined during World War II to describe a despicable class of people who lined their pockets with money by selling such tightly rationed items to their countrymen.
“Beauf” has a more recent history. The word is thought to have been born in the 1970s by a comic book creator, and is the abbreviation of beau-frère (brother-in-law or step-brother).
So what is a bof/beauf? It’s someone who lacks culture or is cluelessly vulgar. It is a favourite word among Parisians and is most often thrown about on holiday.
A chic Parisian might have the misfortune of landing in a so-called “beaufland” while vacationing in the south of France. This could be a beach filled with unsophisticated, loud people who dress in tacky clothing and encroach on your personal space. Or, it could be at a scenic destination, where scores of bofs/beaufs have parked their campers and are picnicking with their backs to the view. There are many traits that could qualify someone as a bof/beauf, yet to be Parisian is not one of them.