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French Expression of the Day: Faire des chichis

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French Expression of the Day: Faire des chichis
Photo: Deposit Photos
11:07 CET+01:00
Whether you want to describe something over the top or no frills, find out what all the fuss is about when people faire des chichis.

Why do I need to know Faire des chichis?

Whether you want to describe something over the top or no frills, find out what all the fuss is about when people faire des chichis.

What does faire des chichis mean?

One definition of chichi is ‘doughnut', so someone could literally faire des chichis, or 'make the doughnuts', for example Il a fait de délicieux chichis aux pommes. (He made some delicious apple doughnuts.)

But chichi is also commonly defined in everyday French as meaning some kind of over the top ‘fuss' or ‘extravagance'.

So someone might faire des chichis (make a fuss) by making things more complicated than they need to be or causing unnecessary problems, for example il fait des chichis à propos de rien (he makes a fuss about nothing.)

Along the same lines, faire des chichis can also mean that someone is making things complicated by ‘putting on airs'. Used in this way, the expression implies that someone or something is fussy in a pretentious or over the top way. 

For example, if you go over to someone's house for an apéro and they have waiters serving food you might think that ils font toujours trop de chichis pour recevoir des amis. (they always go over the top when their friends are coming over.) 

You might even describe this kind of person as à chichis, for example ce sont des gens à chichis. (they are pretentious.)

On the other hand, if you are invited to a party sans chichis (‘without fuss' or ‘no frills') you can be sure there will be a relaxed and genuine atmosphere, and no one will judge the kind of wine you bring with you. You can use this expression like On fait une soirée simple sans chichis. (We're having a simple, relaxed get together. )

How can I use it?

Les passagers ont désormais le choix, et les vols à bas prix et sans chichis sont au goût du jour. 

Air passengers now have choice, and low-fare, no-frills air travel has become the order of the day. 

Comme d'habitude, l'accueil fut chaleureux et sans chichis.

As usual, the welcome was warm and genuine. 

(The above examples are from

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