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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French expression of the day: Je me casse

Want to do a chilled-out French exit? Here's the phrase you will need.

French expression of the day: Je me casse
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know je me casse?

French people say this all the time. Especially young people. But if you’re not familiar with the expression, you might think they are announcing that they ‘are breaking’, which is not at all what they mean.

Also if you’re a Eurovision fan you will need to know this for the 2021 song contest.

What does it mean?

Although the expression je me casse includes the verb casser (‘to break’), it actually signifies making an exit. It also implies that the exit made is pretty swift, in the sense that the person is ‘getting out of here’ rather than ‘leaving’.

Imagine that you’re in school, suffering through a horrendously boring lecture. Well, if you’re the cool French kid in class, you might say je me casse – ‘I’m out of here’ – and head for the door.

Or, say you’re at a party that you aren’t really feeling the vibe of anymore and you want to head off, you could look at your French friend and say on se casse? – let’s get out of here?

The phrase is also the title of Malta’s Eurovision entry this year (no, we don’t know why the title is in French, the rest of the song is in English).

Alternatively..

You may also use casser as an interjection, in which case the meaning of se casser (‘get out’) becomes much less relaxed.

For example, if you’re arguing with your French boyfriend and you want him to get the f*** out of your apartment, you could dramatically scream:

Casse-toi ! – Get out!

Synonyms

A less colloquial way of announcing your exit is je m’en vais (I’m leaving) or alternatively on s’en va (we’re leaving).

Another one, which lies closer to je me casse on the informality scale, is je me barre, or on se barre.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Faire d’une pierre deux coups

The most organised of people will likely make use of this handy French Expression.

French Expression of the Day: Faire d’une pierre deux coups

Why do I need to know faire d’une pierre deux coups ?

Because you might want to use this expression after a particularly productive errand-running-day. 

What does it mean?

Faire d’une pierre deux coups – roughly pronounced fair doon pee-air duh koo – translates exactly to “make one rock two shots.” 

If your first instinct is to find it similar to the English expression, “to kill two birds with one stone,” then you would be correct. The French expression carries the same meaning as the English one – which is to achieve two goals at the same time.

The origin of this phrase – for both languages – goes back to the time when people used to hunt with a sling. It would be a great achievement for a hunter to manage to kill two birds with a single stone. 

The expression is still used today, with variations in several different languages, even though most of mankind no longer uses stones to hunt. Nevertheless – it is quite a feat to manage to accomplish two distinct goals in just one action.

Use it like this

J’ai fait d’une pierre deux coups en achetant le cadeau et le repas au même endroit. – I killed two birds with one stone by buying the gift and the meal at the same place.

Vous pouvez faire d’une pierre deux coups en postant votre lettre en même temps que vous récupérez votre colis?  – You could kill two birds with one stone by mailing your letter at the same time as picking up your package?

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