Forget faire l'amour, coucher ensemble or even baiser.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised the French have so many expressions for the act of making love given their love of language and their reputation for passion.
There are so many to choose from but here are a few “sexpressions” that clearly work in French but sound bizarre when translated into English.
We advise you to think carefully before using some if you're trying to woo a French person into your bedroom.
There's the foreplay done, here's the list:
1. A quick run with the one-legged man – Faire sprinter l'unijambiste
No prizes for guessing what a one-legged man is here… This phrase refers to what we might call a “quickie” in English.
2. Take Willy to the circus – Emmener Popaul au cirque
Popaul is a French nickname for a penis, similar to John Thomas or indeed Willy in English.
3. Get Santa stuck in the chimney – Coincer le Père Noël dans la cheminée
A less common expression, thankfully, after all, who'd want to get their Santa stuck anyway?
Photo: Michael Coghlan/Flickr
4. Set the table again – Remettre le couvert
This literally means “put out the cutlery again”, suggesting a second “session” is on the way. Eg: We woke this morning and “set the table again”, if you know what I mean.
5. Doing the wolf dance – Faire la danse du loup
A howler of an expression that apparently stems from the 16th century. Makes you wonder if the French thought the 1990 Kevin Costner classic Dances With Wolves was an erotic film.
6. To do somersaults – Faire des galipettes
An energetic kind of romp. Eg: We were doing somersaults last night, mon ami, real somersaults.
Photo: Teddy Kwok/Flickr
7. To put (her) in the saucepan – Passer à la casserole
This is what some might call locker room talk, and means to have sex with a particular person for the first time. Vulgar, we know. “I finally put her in the saucepan last night”.
8. To clink glasses with your belly buttons –Trinquer du nombril
This is a wonderfully visual one, imagine doing a toast with two glasses of champagne – except instead of glasses you use your belly buttons. You get the picture.
9. A game of legs in the air – Faire une partie de jambes en l’air
This is perhaps the most self explanatory of the lot.
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr
10. To make boom boom crack crack – Faire boum boum crac crac
Some might have heard of “doing the boom boom” in English already, which the French use too. But sometimes they take it a step further and add a crac crac. Is this onomatopaeic? Who knows.
11. Tickle the water lily – Chatouiller le nénuphar
This one appears to be a firm favourite among the French. Artist Claude Monet must have been a fan of this expression.
12. Sweep the chimney – Rammoner la cheminée
This one is pretty straight forward, use your imagination.
13. To dunk the biscuit –Tremper le biscuit
WARNING: This one is explicit. Only use this if you are a filthy fornicator. We do not condone this “locker room talk”. Admittedly this one does exist in English in the form of “dip the biscuit”.
Photo: Danny James Ford/Flickr
14. To climb the curtains – Grimper aux rideaux
This suggests a screamingly good experience between the sheets, so good that you're left “climbing the curtains”.
15. To be sent into the air –S’envoyer en l’air
This is one for both parties, who are both apparently taking great pleasure in the act, so much so they've been “sent into the air”.
16. Shake our joints – Remuer le gigot
“Shall we head back to our chambre de bonne and shake our joints?” You never know it could take off in English.
And 17. To stick the garlic in the leg of lamb – Piquer l’ail dans le gigot d’agneau
Typical France. They even manage to bring their love for food into bedroom talk. No guesses for what this might mean…