French Expression of the Day: être chocolat

French Expression of the Day: être chocolat
Photo: Depositphotos
If you haven't come across the French expression 'être chocolat', you might (understandably) be surprised to find out that 'being chocolate' is not used in a positive way in France.

Why do I need to know what être chocolat means?

It's one of those irritating expressions when you understand all the composite parts and yet you're none the wiser about what the expressions means when they're all put together. 

So, what does it mean?

The literal meaning is, of course, 'to be chocolate' but as that doesn't make much sense, it has a different meaning altogether. 

Être chocolat is a slang expression which actually means 'to be had', 'to be taken for a ride' or 'to be duped'. 
So you might say, Je croyais faire une affaire, mais je suis chocolat! — 'I thought I was doing a deal, but I was duped!'
Or, Je croyais que mon chef me donnait un congé demain. Mais non. Je suis chocolat. — 'I thought my boss was giving me a day off tomorrow. But he isn’t. I got taken for a ride.'
The expression is not particularly commonplace but it's a good one to say every now and then if you'd like to show off your excellent knowledge of French expressions. 
But how does 'being chocolate' equate with 'being duped'?
There are a few explanations about where the expression may have originated, with one of the most prominent linking it to the boxing ring. 
Apparently when one of the boxers was knocked out, it would be a choc ('shock' in English) which was then extended to être chocolat, with the expression later evolving to mean 'being duped'. 
Another suggestion is that it came from a 19th century comic book series. 


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