The French language's fixation with 'les Anglais'

Sophie Inge
Sophie Inge - [email protected] • 18 Dec, 2014 Updated Thu 18 Dec 2014 09:25 CEST
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The French are known to for their stubborn attempts to keep English out of their language, but it appears they haven't done a very good job of it. The Gallic language is full of expressions containing the word “anglais” and most aren't complimentary.


"Les Anglais ont débarqué!" (“The English have disembarked!”). This phrase may mean nothing in particular to an English person but it's wearily familiar to any Frenchwoman.

Confused? In this gallery, we’ve listed ten French expressions containing the word “anglais”, along with explanations – where possible – of how they came to be coined.

As you peruse the list, you may notice some common themes popping up - from sex to various types of misfortune. You’ll also detect some French prejudices about the English coming into play.

Can you think of any more examples? Let us know in the comments section below. 

The French language's obsession with 'les Anglais'



Sophie Inge 2014/12/18 09:25

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