French Expression of the day: Ça me gonfle!

If somebody tells you "Ça me gonfle !", it doesn't mean they're swelling up but something quite different.

French Expression of the day: Ça me gonfle!
Photo: Deposit photos
Why do you need to know ça ma gonfle!
The French aren't prone to keeping their feelings to themselves, especially if they're grumpy or annoyed which is why this expression crops up quite often in conversation, although it's more used in informal chats. It's usually accompanied by gesticulation and a look of annoyance.
So, what does it mean?
French, the verb gonfler means to swell or to blow up as in blowing up a balloon gonfler un ballon, and so ça me gonfle literaly translates as 'this swells me up'. 
But when the French say ça me gonfle the meaning changes: it means that whatever the thing that is being referred to is annoying that person, that they can't be bothered to do it or that they are exasperated by it. 
So you could use it if you want to say 'it's really annoying', 'it drives me mad' or 'it drives me mad' and given that it's quite informal you could also translate it as 'it pisses me off'.
It's not very clear where the expression comes from exactly, but some sources date it to 19th century when the verb gonfler in slang meant to bore.
Other French sources point out to the more figurative use of the word gonfler – to swell until you are about to explode as in so getting angry that you're about to explode
1. Ça me gonfle de sortir les poubelles, il fait trop froid dehors.
I don't feel like taking the rubbish out, it's too cold outside. 
2. Mon frère oublie toujours mon anniversaire, ça me gonfle.
My brother always forgets my birthday, it's really annoying.
3. Tu me gonfles avec tes histoires, tu n'es jamais contente ! 
I'm fed up with all your problems, you're never happy!
Other versions of this expression are ça me casse les pieds (it breaks my feet) and ça me soûle (it makes me drunk) which mean exactly the same thing.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


French Expression of the Day: Les toxicos

You'll want to be sure to only use this French expression in the right contexts.

French Expression of the Day: Les toxicos

Why do I need to know les toxicos?

Because you might want to avoid using this term if you simply want to describe someone as behaving in a toxic manner.

What does it mean?

Les toxicos roughly pronounced lay tox-ee-kohs – is the French slang term to describe “drug addict”.

The English equivalent might be “junkie”.

The word comes from a French word for drug addiction more generally. “Toxicomanie” refers to the physical and/or psychological dependence on chemical substances without prescription or therapeutic justification.

The official term for a person addicted to substances is “toximane” – and les toxicos is a shortened, more informal version of the term. 

In French, you can also use the term “dépendance” to refer to addiction as well.

READ MORE: French Expression of the Day: Les stups

Some may use this term in a derogatory way, though its usage depends on context and the person speaking.

Use it like this

Le politicien a critiqué le manque de financement de la police et a cité le fait qu’il y avait trop de toxicos près de la gare. – The politician criticised a lack of funding for police and cited the fact that there were too many drug addicts by the train station.

L’homme m’a dit que je devais faire attention en traversant le parc car il y avait beaucoup de toxicos, mais je me sentais en sécurité.– The man told me that I should be careful when crossing the park because there are many junkies, but I felt safe.