French expression of the day: Transpirer comme un bœuf

French expression of the day: Transpirer comme un bœuf
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Why France transforms to a land of sweaty oxen during heatwaves.

Why do I need to know transpirer comme un bœuf?

With temperatures soaring across France, chances are you may feel like this in the coming days.

What does it mean?

Transpirer comme un bœuf literally translates to 'sweat like an bullock'.

Bœuf means both beef and the animal it came from, but in this case the word refers to the male cattle rather than the edible steak.

The idea is that cattle tend to sweat a lot and large amounts, so comparing yourself to a sweaty oxen signals that you're feeling extremely hot.

The English equivalent is 'sweating like a pig', which also exists as an expression in French – suer comme un porc.

You can also use suer comme un bœuf, which means the same.

Use it like this

Je n'en peux plus de cette chaleur, je transpire comme un bœuf. – I can't stand this heat anymore, I'm sweating like a pig.

Travailler en pantalon pendant la canicule.. ça fait transpirer comme un bœuf.. – Working while wearing pants during the heatwave.. It makes you sweat like a pig..

Il faut que je me douche, le ventilateur était en panne toute la journée au bureau donc on a transpiré comme des bœufs. – I have to shower, the fan at work stopped working so we've been sweating like pigs all day.


Suer comme un porc – sweat like a pig

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