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French expression of the day: Crise des nerfs

French expression of the day: Crise des nerfs
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
It's something many of us probably will have experienced in the months following the coronavirus epidemic.

Why do I need to know crise de nerfs?

It's useful both in the moments of minor life crises (like discovering you don't have any shampoo left) and bigger ones (like getting dumped or losing your job).

What does it mean?

Crise de nerfs means 'crisis of nerves', and it's the French equivalent of having a 'nervous breakdown'.

Like its English sister expression, crise de nerfs is a real thing – a quite serious psychological condition actually – but the French use it for everyday more minor incidents.

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Use it like this

You can use crise de nerfs when someone at the office drank the last coffee and you feels like you're au bout de ta vie – just dying. 

Or when you're in lockdown and someone just used the last of the toilet paper.

Or when you're in lockdown, full stop.

J'en peux plus de confinement, je fais bientôt un crise de nerfs. – I can't deal with lockdown anymore, I'm going to lose it.

You can use crise de nerf whenever you're stressed out or upset. In this case it's the same as pêter un plomb or pêter un cable – 'freaking out, 'losing it' or 'blow a fuse'.

Il faut que j'y aille, si je te rentre tard ma femme va encore taper une crise de nerfs. – I have to go, if I get home late my wife will have a meltdown.

Ah, ne commence pas avec ça ou sinon je te jure que je vais faire une crise de nerfs ! – Oh, don't start with all that again or I swear I will blow a fuse!

Mon chef m'a stressé toute la journée au boulot, j'étais au bord de la crise de nerfs. – My boss was stressing me out all day at work, I thought I might have a breakdown.

 


Member comments

  1. Good to know, thank you. During this lockdown, my wife has been so “Intolerant” with me, I’m thinking of changing my name to “Lactose” ! 🙂 How do you say that ?

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