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French Expression of the Day: Cracher dans la soupe

The French language is filled with food-related expressions. But in its modern usage, this has nothing to do with a tasty broth.

French Expression of the Day: Cracher dans la soupe

Why do I need to know cracher dans la soupe?

Next time you hear a French person mentioning cracher dans la soupe, don't feel the need to take their word at face value and comply.

So, what does it mean?

Cracher dans la soupe literally means to spit in the soup, and obviously has a strong negative connotation. It's the French version of 'to bite the hand that feeds you'.  

Soups were once the staple diet, along with bread, for the poorer folk so the idea of spitting in what helped you and everyone else live was simply inconceivable.

In old slang, soupe also referred more broadly to advantages and benefits.

The expression is used to refer to someone ungrateful, who despises something he gains from and takes advantage of it.

Marc est ingrat. Son père l'a toujours aidé, et maintenant il le critique et crache dans la soupe. – Marc is unappreciative. His dad always helped him out, and now he criticises him and spits in the soup.

– Je déteste ce travail!

– Je comprends, mais tu ne devrais pas cracher dans la soupe!

– I hate this job!

– I understand, but you should not bite the hand that feeds you.

If you want to learn a few more everyday French saying, check out our list here – Fat mornings and whipping cats: 10 idioms to sound more French

For more words and phrases to spice up your conversation, check out our French Word of the Day section.

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French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

This is definitely not lip synching.

French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

Why do I need to know Chanter faux ?

Because if you were not blessed with a beautiful singing voice, then this might be a good phrase to know. 

What does it mean?

Chanter faux – pronounced shahn-tay foe – literally means to ‘fake sing.’ You might assume this expression would mean ‘lip sync’ in French, but its true meaning is to sing out of tune. (Lip synching is chanter en playback).

It joins a chorus of other French expressions about bad singing, like chanter comme une casserole (to sing like a saucepan) or chanter comme une seringue (to sing like a siren).  

Chanter faux is actually the most correct way to describe someone being off key, so it might be a better option than comparing another’s voice to a cooking utensil. 

You might have seen this expression pop up recently amid the drought, as people call for rain dances and rain singing (where there is no shame in singing badly).

Use it like this

Pendant l’audition pour la pièce, Sarah a chanté faux. Malheureusement, elle n’a pas obtenu le rôle. – During her audition for the play, Sarah sang out of tune. Sadly, she did not get a role.

Si on fait un karaoké, tu verras comme je chante mal. Je chante vraiment faux, mais je m’en fiche. Il s’agit de s’amuser. – If we do karaoke you will see how badly I sing. I am really out of tune, but I don’t care. It’s all about having fun.