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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: raclure de bidet

Today's expression is particularly filthy and oh so French. Find out what 'raclure de bidet' means, and when you might need to deploy this nuclear option of an insult.

French Expression of the Day: raclure de bidet
Photo: Depositphotos

Why do I need to know raclure de bidet?

We might be overstating if we said you need to know this, but it's always fun to know creative insults in a foreign language… and this one demonstrates a certain Gallic flair. 

So, what does it mean?

Literally the expression means 'bidet scum' which is of course disgusting, but if you're fed up of your run of the mill insults, such as putain and connard, it might be just the ticket. The equivalent insult in English is probably 'douche bag'.

Clearly no one wants to be described as 'bidet scum' so it's sure to be an effective way of getting your point across, and on top of that the reference to a bidet means that you're demonstrating an understanding of the French way of life at the same time! What could be better?

So, if you'd like an inventive way to put someone in their place then you might want to crack out: T'es une raclure de bidet. – 'You bidet scum.'

Hopefully, it goes without saying that this is not an insult to bring out in front of your boss… or granny. 

Origins

There is some debate over where the expression comes from but many people clam they first heard it in cult French film Les Trois Frères released in 1995.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Les grands esprits se rencontrent

Though this phrase has a close English equivalent, it's just so much more poetic in French

French Expression of the Day: Les grands esprits se rencontrent

Why do I need to know les grands esprits se rencontrent?

Because you might want to use this phrase the next time you and a friend have the same idea for how to spend vacation.

What does it mean?

Les grands esprits se rencontrent – usually pronounced lay grand eh-spreets suh rahn-cahn-truh – literally translates to “the great minds meet each other” or “the great spirits meet each other.” More appropriately, the very poetic phrase in French translates to the English expression “great minds think alike.” 

For the French phrase, it actually finds its origins with Voltaire. In 1760, he wrote a letter to another well-known French writer at the time and included the phrase: “Les beaux esprits se rencontrent” (the beautiful minds meet each other) to emphasise the fact that both expressed the same idea at the same time.

Over time, the phrase switched from ‘beautiful’ minds to ‘great’ minds, but the meaning remains the same. The phrase is usually said ironically in French, and can be used more or less interchangeably with the English version of this expression (which curiously has different origins altogether). However, sadly, the French version does not include the snarky reply: “and fools seldom differ” 

Use it like this

J’avais envie de pizza pour le dîner mais je lui ai demandé ce qu’il voulait quand même et il a dit pizza. Les grands esprits se rencontrent ! – I was wanting pizza for dinner, but I asked him what he wanted anyways, and he said pizza. Great minds think alike!

Nous pensons tous deux que la vue de Paris depuis le Belvédère de Belleville est la meilleure de la ville. Les grands esprits se rencontrent. – We both think that the view of Paris from Belvédère de Belleville is the best of the city. Great minds think alike.

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