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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: se mettre au vert

We're well into holiday season and people in cities all over France are looking to escape to the French countryside - and this is the perfect expression to describe just that.

French Expression of the Day: se mettre au vert
Photo: Depositphotos

Why do I need to know se mettre au vert?

It's the time of year when city living really starts to grind people down – even in Paris. 

So, many people will be hitting the road and heading for the hills for les grandes vacances – the phrase used to describe the long summer holiday in France – and that's where today's expression of the day comes in. 

So, what does it mean?

Se mettre au vert means 'to get out into the countryside'. 

So for example, you might say: Cet été nous quittons Paris, nous allons nous mettre au vert. – 'This summer, we're leaving Paris and getting into the countryside.'

Or you could say: Jean est un baroudeur des villes prêt à se mettre au vert. – 'Jean is a city adventurer ready to get into the countryside.'

However this isn't the only way to use the expression – it can also mean 'to go on the run'. 

For example, Recherché par la police, le voleur se met au vert et se fait discret. – 'Wanted by the police, the thief goes on the run and lies low.'

As with most expressions, context is everything. 

For more French Expressions and French Words of the Day you can CLICK HERE to see our full list

 

 

 

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Being patronised by a Frenchman? Roll out this phrase.

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Why do I need to know ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines?

Because someone might be trying to take you for a fool.

What does it mean?

Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines – pronounced ne me pren pah pour un lapan de see sem-enn – translates as ‘don’t take me for a six-week-old rabbit’, and is a go-to phrase to warn people not to mistake you for a fool, someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The podcast Hit West from French regional newspaper Ouest-France suggests that the ‘six weeks’ comes from the age a rabbit is weaned at, and must therefore be ready to survive on its own.

And why a rabbit at all? Well no-one really seems very sure. Rabbits don’t get a good rap in the French language though, to stand someone up is poser un lapin in French.

English-language metaphor equivalents may be, “I didn’t come down in the last shower”, “I wasn’t born yesterday”, or, as Line of Duty’s DCI Hastings might say, “I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble”.

Use it like this

Honestly, keep it simple. If someone’s speaking to you in a patronising manner, simply say: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines.

Ouest France suggests that this is the ‘more elegant’ way to request that people don’t take you for a fool. It’s not offensive, but it might be a little old-fashioned. 

Alternatives

You can use the more basic version of this phrase – Ne me prends pas pour une idiote (don’t take me for a fool) or the slightly more punchy Ne me prends pas pour un con (don’t take me for a moron).

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