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French expression of the day: Croqueuse de diamants

Why munching on diamonds is a thing in France (not literally).

French expression of the day: Croqueuse de diamants
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know croqueuse de diamants?

Because it's a term that you can't easily translate.

What does it mean?

Croqueuse de diamants literally translates as 'diamond biter' and is the French equivalent to gold digger.


French online dictionary l'Internaute defines it as “femme fatale avide d'argent” – a femme fatale greedy for money.

Croquer is the French verb for ‘to bite’ into something and une croqueuse is a (female) ‘biter’. So une croqueuse de diamants is someone so fond of money that she figuratively eats diamonds.

The male version is croqueur des diamants although you'll hear that a lot less because, well, the patriarchy.



Une croqueuse is an old slang term for a prostitute that “enchaîne les passes“, according to l'Internaute, meaning she takes on one customer after the other.

Together with croquer de dot, a French expression that refers to spending a dowry or heritage very quickly (burning through it), croqueuse was the base for what in the 20th Century became croqueuse de diamants.

In other words, there's no reading between the lines here: une croqueuse de diamants is a woman using her body to spend a lot of money very quickly.

(So even if the expression itself is funny, it's pretty sexist and not a very charming thing to say to someone.)

Use it like this

Franchement il n'y a rien qu'elle aime autant que d'argent. C'est une vraie croqueuse de diamants. – Frankly there's nothing she loves as much as money. She's a real gold digger.

Tu as vu comment elle se comporte avec les vieux riches ? On dirait une croqueuse de diamants. – Have you seen how she acts with old rich men? Looks like a real gold digger.



Member comments

  1. Women would never be gold diggers were it not for the fact that men have kept most of the money for themselves.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Découvrir le pot aux roses

You might do this while gardening or while reading the tabloids.

French Expression of the Day: Découvrir le pot aux roses

Why do I need to know découvrir le pot aux roses?

Because if you enjoy celebrity gossip, then you probably will find good use for this phrase

What does it mean?

Découvrir le pot aux roses – pronounced day-coov-rear le pot-oh rose – literally translates to ‘to discover the pot of roses.’ 

You might use this expression when finding out about some exciting gossip or maybe when discovering what your partner secretly planned for your anniversary, as this phrase in actuality is what you would say when you learn something secret or hidden. 

In English, when discussing secrets, you might say someone has ‘spilled the beans’ or ‘let the cat out of the bag,’ but the French phrase is more about the person who has found out about the hidden item or truth, not the person who told it, as it ‘spill the beans’.

The origins of this French expression are not what you might expect, historically, the phrase has little to do with the flowers.

During the Middle Ages, the verb ‘découvrir’ had the meaning of ‘to lift a lid’ and at the time the phrase ‘pot aux roses’ referred to a small box that wealthy women used to store their perfumes, as well as their makeup. They often used these boxes to keep secrets, letters, or notes that they did not want others to stumble upon.

Use it like this

Pendant l’afterwork, Sarah a raconté à tout le monde les secrets les plus fous sur la vie privée du patron. Je ne comprends pas comment elle a réussi à découvrir le pot aux roses. – During the work happy hour, Sarah told us all about the wildest secrets of our boss’ personal life. I don’t understand how she managed to unearth that gossip.

Il a découvert le pot aux roses lorsqu’il s’est connecté à l’ordinateur de son colocataire pour regarder simplement son mail. – He discovered the secret when he logged onto his roommate’s laptop to just check his email.