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French expression of the day: C’est foutu!

It's that feeling when the big football game is on and you're team is down by three goals and there's five minutes left.

French expression of the day: C'est foutu!

Why do I need to know c’est foutu

It may come in handy should you want to exclaim outrage over major disruptions during strikes, or indeed any of life's other inconveniences. 

So what does it mean?

It’s over! Fucked up!  We’re doomed!

While the last one might be a tad too dramatic, c’est foutu is in fact an expression French people use when they’re really annoyed or despairing.

C'est foutu means all hope is lost. Say your flight crashed on a desolate island, killing everyone except yourself and a French person. In that case, you could shout c’est foutu ! – We're screwed!

Or imagine a football game where Les Bleus are playing against Brazil, but French star players Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are all off sick. Well, a French football fan might exclaim: 

Bon, c’est déjà foutu.. – Well, we've basically already lost..

It can also be used about a person. Let's say you skipped school and your parents found out, in that case:

Tu es foutu. – You're in deep.

Any other options?

Foutu comes from the verb foutre, which is most commonly used through the expression se foutre de quelque chose – to not care about something. 

Je m’en fous! I don’t care/I don't give a shit!

It's pretty colloquial, so bear in mind who is around you if you intend to use it. Don't say it in front of your boss.

A more polite version is je m’en fiche, which is less informal but still something you might want to avoid telling your supervisor (but mostly because bosses generally tend to frown upon employees who say they don’t care about their work).

And let's not forget the expression foutre en l’air – screw something up or destroy something.

For example, French ecologist Yann Arthus-Bertrand recently said:

J’ai foutu en l’air un repas de Noël, car ils avaient sorti du foie gras – I recently ruined a Christmas dinner because they served foie gras




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French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why being a good pupil can sometimes be … bad.

French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why do I need to know Syndrome de la bonne élève?

Feeling under-valued at work despite doing everything – and more – asked of you? You may have ‘good student syndrome’.

What does it mean?

Syndrome de la bonne élève – pronounced sin-dromm de la bon ell-evv – translates, as we’ve already hinted, as good student syndrome. 

You may well also see it written as syndrome du bon élève (pronounced sin-dromm doo bon ell-evv) – but this is predominantly a female issue.

It refers to someone in the workplace who tries their hardest to work to the rules, do all the jobs asked of them – and more – and yet is overlooked in favour of co-workers who don’t necessarily put in the same hard graft.

It’s not an official ‘syndrome’, but mental health experts do recognise it in many people – particularly women.

It is a hangover, according to features in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, from school days when girls are considered to be harder workers and less trouble than their boy counterparts.

Marie Claire labelled it a “destructive perfectionism … which affects the mental health of the women they become, while preventing them from embracing positions of responsibility’.’

Use it like this

Le syndrome de la bonne élève touche essentiellement les femmes dans le monde occidental. – Good student syndrome mainly affects women in the Western world.

Cette question d’éducation est d’autant plus marquante que le syndrome du « bon élève » affecte généralement les femmes – This question of education is all the more striking because “good student” syndrome generally affects women