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French phrase of the Day: Fête sauvage

French phrase of the Day: Fête sauvage
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
It's a wild party, but probably not of the type that you want to be invited to right now.

Why do I need to know fête sauvage?

This phrase is being used more and more in the news recently and it’s a phrase that’s extremely useful to know to detect if someone is breaking the Covid-19 rules.

What does it mean?

Translated literally, fête sauvage means ‘wild party’ but it's not something you would use to describe an amazing night out.

The word sauvage can mean wild as in champignons sauvages (wild mushrooms) but it also has a secondary meaning of unathorised.

So in the context of the pandemic, a fête sauvage is an ‘illegal party’ or ‘unauthorised party’ and it refers to the parties people are holding that clearly go against the ban on large gatherings, the 8pm curfew and the social distancing rules.

The word sauvage is commonly used in the context of law-breaking, for example a rodéo sauvage is illegal street-racing, usually of motorbikes or scooters.

Fête sauvage is more used in the context of people describing the parties in disapproving terms, rather than the among the people who might have been invited, as this British mum of a bilingual teenager discovered.

 

Use it like this

Malgré le Covid-19 et le couvre-feu, une fête sauvage a été organisée à Paris – Despite Covid-19 and the curfew, an unauthorised party was organised in Paris

Mes voisins ont organisé une fête sauvage, alors j’ai appelé la police – My neighbours held an illegal party so I called the police

La police a annoncé qu’elle allait sévir contre les fêtes sauvages suite à un pic dans les cas de Coronavirus – The police have announced they’re going to crack down on illegal parties following a spike in Coronavirus cases

Synonym

Fête clandestine 
 


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