SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French word of the day: Micmac

If you witness suspicious or intriguing activity, this word might come in handy.

French word of the day: Micmac
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know micmac?

Because it’s common slang used by surprised or skeptical French speakers.

What does it mean?

Micmac can be directly translated from French as an 'intrigue', 'muddle' or 'disorder'.

It is generally used to describe bizarre situations or goings-on whose internal logic is hidden or nonexistent, thus piquing the curiosity of onlookers.

You might describe the seemingly illogical actions of a corrupt colleague as des micmacs, or the suspicious whisperings of friends who are surreptitiously planning your birthday party.

Use it like this
Il y a eu du micmac dans cette affaire ! – This whole business is corrupt!

J’ai l’impression qu’il se passe des micmacs derrière mon dos. – I feel like you’re scheming behind my back.

Explique-moi maintenant tes micmacs. Vous manigancez quelque chose ? – Explain yourself. Are you playing me?

Synonyms

Manigance, Manigancer – Shenanigans, to scheme or plot.

Schmilblick – Coined by comedian Pierre Dac, this fantastical word describes a nonsensical object or circumstance.
 

Member comments

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

FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Being patronised by a Frenchman? Roll out this phrase.

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Why do I need to know ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines?

Because someone might be trying to take you for a fool.

What does it mean?

Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines – pronounced ne me pren pah pour un lapan de see sem-enn – translates as ‘don’t take me for a six-week-old rabbit’, and is a go-to phrase to warn people not to mistake you for a fool, someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The podcast Hit West from French regional newspaper Ouest-France suggests that the ‘six weeks’ comes from the age a rabbit is weaned at, and must therefore be ready to survive on its own.

And why a rabbit at all? Well no-one really seems very sure. Rabbits don’t get a good rap in the French language though, to stand someone up is poser un lapin in French.

English-language metaphor equivalents may be, “I didn’t come down in the last shower”, “I wasn’t born yesterday”, or, as Line of Duty’s DCI Hastings might say, “I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble”.

Use it like this

Honestly, keep it simple. If someone’s speaking to you in a patronising manner, simply say: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines.

Ouest France suggests that this is the ‘more elegant’ way to request that people don’t take you for a fool. It’s not offensive, but it might be a little old-fashioned. 

Alternatives

You can use the more basic version of this phrase – Ne me prends pas pour une idiote (don’t take me for a fool) or the slightly more punchy Ne me prends pas pour un con (don’t take me for a moron).

SHOW COMMENTS