French expression of the day: Péter les plombs

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French expression of the day: Péter les plombs

Have you been asked to fill in one too many French forms or been cut up on the roads by yet another terrible driver? You may need this.


Why do I need to know péter les plombs?

France, like all countries, does have its irritating points and there may come a time when you feel that you just can't take it any more. 

What does it mean?

It means to blow a fuse, go beserk, lose it altogether, freak out - in general, the moment when you decide that you just can't take it any longer.

Péter is an informal verb that is usually translated as to fart, but can also mean to burst or to pop while les plombs are pellets or fuses.

S'il est encore en retard, mon Dieu, je vais péter les plombs - If he is late again, I swear to God I will lose it.

Le fontionnaire était si impoli et inutile, j'ai pété les plombs - The bureaucrat was so rude and unhelpful, I blew a fuse.

A similar phrase is péter un câble, so you could also say 

Amélia va péter un câble quand elle se rendra compte que la chienne de sa coloque a pissé sur son tapis persean - Amélia's going to go beserk when she finds out her housemate's dog peed on her Persian rug. 

And if you want a more general phrase for the feeling of getting to the end of your tether, you could use j'en peux plus - I can't take it any more.

(And of course once you have lost it, it's time to start swearing. Check out our guide on how to swear like a French person).

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





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