For members


French word of the Day: Bouder

Not getting your own way? You might need to prepare to bouder.

French word of the Day: Bouder

Why do I need to know bouder?

Well hopefully you will be above such childish behaviour yourself, but it's a handy word to apply to others.

What does it mean?

It means to sulk. So if you're having a strop or you know someone who is, now you have the perfect word to describe it.

Il n'a pas obtenu ce qu'il voulait à la réunion alors il est parti bouder dans le coin – He didn't get his way in the meeting so he's gone off to sulk in the corner.

Il boude comme un enfant à cause de sa dernière défaite au Parlement – He is sulking like a child over his latest defeat in Parliament. 

As well as using the verb to describe someone who is sulking, you can also use boudeur or boudeuse (depending if you're talking about a male or a female) to describe someone who is generally sulky.

Elle est un peu boudeuse mais aussi très sexy – She is a bit sulky, but also really sexy.

You might also hear it being used in the sense of shunning or ignoring a person or denying someone something.

À la soirée, l'actrice a boudé les journalistes – At the party, the actress shunned the journalists.

In the sense of denial, you might see the phrase bouder mon plaisir – deny myself the pleasure.

Je n'allais pas bouder mon plaisir d'un dernier regard – I was not about to deny myself the pleasure of a last look.

For more French words and expressions, check out our French word of the Day section.



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For members


French Expression of the Day: Découvrir le pot aux roses

You might do this while gardening or while reading the tabloids.

French Expression of the Day: Découvrir le pot aux roses

Why do I need to know découvrir le pot aux roses?

Because if you enjoy celebrity gossip, then you probably will find good use for this phrase

What does it mean?

Découvrir le pot aux roses – pronounced day-coov-rear le pot-oh rose – literally translates to ‘to discover the pot of roses.’ 

You might use this expression when finding out about some exciting gossip or maybe when discovering what your partner secretly planned for your anniversary, as this phrase in actuality is what you would say when you learn something secret or hidden. 

In English, when discussing secrets, you might say someone has ‘spilled the beans’ or ‘let the cat out of the bag,’ but the French phrase is more about the person who has found out about the hidden item or truth, not the person who told it, as it ‘spill the beans’.

The origins of this French expression are not what you might expect, historically, the phrase has little to do with the flowers.

During the Middle Ages, the verb ‘découvrir’ had the meaning of ‘to lift a lid’ and at the time the phrase ‘pot aux roses’ referred to a small box that wealthy women used to store their perfumes, as well as their makeup. They often used these boxes to keep secrets, letters, or notes that they did not want others to stumble upon.

Use it like this

Pendant l’afterwork, Sarah a raconté à tout le monde les secrets les plus fous sur la vie privée du patron. Je ne comprends pas comment elle a réussi à découvrir le pot aux roses. – During the work happy hour, Sarah told us all about the wildest secrets of our boss’ personal life. I don’t understand how she managed to unearth that gossip.

Il a découvert le pot aux roses lorsqu’il s’est connecté à l’ordinateur de son colocataire pour regarder simplement son mail. – He discovered the secret when he logged onto his roommate’s laptop to just check his email.