French expression of the day: Crier cocorico

French expression of the day: Crier cocorico
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Feeling good about your achievements? It's time to celebrate like a rooster.

Why do I need to know crier cocorico?

Because it's a fun expression pepped up with added French patriotism.

What does it mean?

Crier is French for 'to shout' and cocorico is what French roosters say – cock-a-doodle-doo in English.

READ ALSO: Groin groin, coin coin and meuh – The weird things French animals say

So crier cocorico means 'to shout cock-a-doodle-doo', which sounds like something you would not do unless you are a rooster.

But earlier this week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said: “We will not yet shout cock-a-doodle-doo”.

It sounds like quite an odd thing for a PM to tell his people – unless you know the true meaning of the expression.


Crier cocorico is actually a French way of saying 'to celebrate' or 'to cry out victory'.

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See also on The Local:

So NOT shouting cock-a-doodle-doo means to NOT celebrate – just yet.

Castex was talking about the Covid-19 health situation, which was looking much better than it had in recent weeks. But it was too early to celebrate, according to the PM. Hence the no-cocorico policy.

Anti-riot police officers evacuate a protester wearing a rooster hat in Avignon, southern France, on March 30th, 2019. Photo: AFP


As you may know, le coq gaulois – the Gallic rooster – is France's unofficial national symbol, and the shirts of many French national sports teams have tiny cockerels sewn on them.

Crier cocorico is a way of showing patriotism and Gallic pride, according to French language guardian Académie Française (8th edition).
Use it like this
Est-il trop tôt pour crier cocorico ? – Is it too early to cry out victory?
Je vous fais un petit cocorico parce que cette prestation est vraiment fomidable ! – I'm giving you a little shoutout because this performance is truly brilliant!
Il n'y a pas de quoi crier cocorico encore. Attendons les résultats. – There's nothing to celebrate just yet. Let's wait for the results.

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