French expression of the day: En faire tout un fromage

French expression of the day: En faire tout un fromage
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Unfortunately, this does not mean that you're being offered a cheese plate.

Why do I need to know en faire tout un fromage?

Because some stereotypes about the French are just true. France being the country of cheese is one of them. 

What does it mean?

France is the country of (many) more types of cheese than there are days in the year, where fromage is an distinguished dish that must feature at any decent dinner party, and where people who don't like cheese are embarrassed to admit it.

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Obviously there had to be a French expression involving cheese.

En faire tout un fromage literally means ‘to make a whole cheese about it’.

But it’s used to say that someone is unnecessarily making a big fuss about something. Broadly similar to saying you are making a meal of something.

Arrête d'en faire tout un fromage! – Stop making such a big fuss about it

But why would cheese be stressful? Eating cheese is so relaxing.. 

Yes, but making it isn't. Turning milk into cheese is a major task that requires skill and time.

So, basically, if you're trying to turn milk into cheese when it's not cheese, but milk – you're overreacting. 

On s'est disputé avec ma copine hier soir. Comme d'habitue elle en a fait tout un fromage.. – I fought with my girlfriend last night. As usual she made a huge deal about it.

J'avais oublié de lui rendre son livre et il m'en a fait tout un fromage. – I forgot to give back his book and he made such a fuss about it.

Ca va, on ne va pas en faire tout un fromage? – Come on, we're not going to make a big fuss about this, are we?


There are plenty of French ways to accuse someone of making a fuss:

Pas de quoi fouetter un chat

Faire toute une histoire de

Faire tout un plat

Faire une montagne de

En faire tout un cake

En faire un pataquès

En faire une maladie

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