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French expression of the day of the day: Crever de chaud

Tomorrow will be steaming hot in France, so it could prove a good occasion to complain about something other than the coronavirus pandemic. Here's an expression to help you along.

Why do I need to know crever de chaud?

Because Thursday is supposed to be the warmest day so far this year, so it could come in handy.

What does it mean?

Crever de chaud means 'dying of heat'.

Not literally, of course, but if you feel like your skin is so hot that your blood might start boiling, this is a great way to express it. English equivalents would be 'I'm boiling' or 'I'm roasting'.

Je crève de chaud – I'm so hot I'm dying

Ca te dit qu'on se mette à l'ombre ? Je crève de chaud. – Do you mind if we move into the shade? I am boiling.

Faut boire de l'eau, sinon on va crever de chaud. – We have to drink water, otherwise we'll roast.

Crever is a colloquial French way of saying 'dying', and is usually used to express a strong feeling about something rather than actual death. 

A tyre can be crevé – flat.

Je suis crevé simply means 'I'm toast/exhausted'. (In this case you can also use mort – dead – which doesn't really work when you are talking about heat).


The French have a reputation both abroad and inside the country as being exceptionally good râleurs – complainers – and there are lots of ways to complain about the heat.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: À la traîne

Procrastinators might be used to this expression.

French Expression of the Day: À la traîne

Why do I need to know à la traîne ?

Because you probably would prefer to be the opposite of this expression

What does it mean?

À la traîne – roughly pronounced ah lah trahynn – is actually nothing to do with trains.

It means to “lag behind” or to be “at the end” or “at the bottom of the class”. 

It is the opposite of the expression “en avance” which is used to describe the person or group ‘in the front’ or ‘at the top.’

The expression is likely derived from the verb ‘traîner’ in French means ‘to drag’ – usually used when a physical item is trailing behind.

You might see French media make use of this phrase when discussing a topic or theme that has been on the back-burner or less of a priority, as it is often ‘lagging behind’ other items.

Not to be confused with

This sounds similar to the phrase “en train de,” which has a totally different meaning – it means “in the process of” or “in the course of”.

Use it like this

Elle était à la traîne par rapport au reste de la classe dans l’apprentissage de la table de multiplication. – She is lagging behind the rest of the class in learning the multiplication table.

L’article explique que les salaires des enseignants sont toujours à la traîne par rapport à ceux des autres professions, notamment en ce qui concerne les augmentations de salaire. – The article explains that teachers’ salaries are always trailing behind those of other professions, particularly concerning pay raises.