For members


French expression of the Day: L’heure des comptes

Is this time approaching for you? Let's hope not!

French expression of the Day: L'heure des comptes
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know l'heure des comptes?

It's a fairly common phrases, particularly in French media, but it's also useful if you need to create a sense of peril or possible imminent doom.

What does it mean?

It means the time of accounting or, to give it its more usual English translation, the hour of reckoning or day or reckoning.

So if you've been potentially involved in something disreputable and your chickens are now coming home to roost, this is one for you.

You may have seen it in the French press recently in relation to the opening of the trial of former French presidential candidate François Fillon, who is accused of paying millions of euros in public money to his British-born wife Penelope for work she did not do.


It's quite often used in relation to politics.

Le dimanche soir, lorsque tous les votes auront été comptés, sera l'heure des comptes – Sunday evening, once all the votes have been counted, will be the time of reckoning.

But it doesn't necessarily have to be political, it's sometimes also used in a financial context for companies publishing their annual accounts.

Or if you just want to inject a sense a slight menace into everyday situations – because life is always more fun with drama – you can inform people

Aujourd'hui, c'est l'heure des comptes – Today is the day of reckoning

L'heure des comptes est venue, mes amis – A reckoning has come, my friends.




Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


French Expression of the Day: S’autokiffer

Here's a newish addition to French - aka the language of love.

French Expression of the Day: S’autokiffer

Why do I need to know s’autokiffer?

Because French is the language of love, so you should know how to extend that to yourself too.

What does it mean?

S’autokiffer – usually pronounced sought-oh-keef-ay – means to love yourself.

The phrase, a colloquial way to reference self-love, combines the prefix auto (self) with the verb Kiffer, which originally comes from Arabic and is used in French slang to mean “like,” “love” or “very into.” When put together, it becomes the perfect way to say “self-love” in French, but sometimes it can be a bit derogatory if you are referring to someone else in this way.

The French like to put auto in front of words. Some others you might hear are autodérision (to make fun of yourself) and autocongratuler (to congratulate yourself/ pat yourself on the back) or, during the pandemic, autotest for a home test kit for Covid.

The phrase can be used as a verb (ex. je m’autokiffe), or as an adjective (ex. Il est autokiffe) to describe someone who really loves themself – maybe a bit too much.

It can be either positive to talk about someone who is comfortable with themselves or negative when talking about someone who loves themselves more than is reasonable ie they’re arrogant and full of themselves.

This is not something you’ll hear in a formal setting, and you might see some creative ways of conjugating it, as it is primarily a slang phrase. But, if the self-love trend has made its way to France, it is safe to say this word might be around for a while. 

Use it like this

Toutes les photos sur son portable sont de lui-même, il est un peu un autokiffe. – All of his pictures on his phone are of himself, he’s a bit full of himself.

Il est hyper important de s’autokiffer. Les gens disent que si tu ne peux pas s’autokiffer, comment tu peux kiffer quelqu’un d’autre ? – It is super important to love yourself. People say if you cannot love yourself, how can you love another person?


Bien dans sa peau – literally translating as ‘good in one’s skin’ this means a person who is comfortable with themselves and accepts themselves as they are.

Avoir le melon – meaning ‘to have the melon’ this means someone who is big-headed, full of themselves or arrogant

READ ALSO 21 essential fruit and vegeatble expressions