For members


French expression of the Day: Partir en goguette

Need a break? Here’s the perfect way to say you’re going away.  

French expression of the Day: Partir en goguette
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know partir en goguette?

Because it’s a charming way to say you are taking a holiday. 

What does it mean?

Goguette is a festive word. Goguette literally means a ‘fun remark, a joke’ but if you pair it with partir (to depart) it means you’re going on vacation or heading off for some fun.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, goguettes were a celebratory social practice where small groups of people gathered to sing and have fun in France. 

Être en goguette also means being in a good mood thanks to wine and good food. 

On the contrary, chanter goguette à quelqu’un – singing goguette to someone – is not very pleasant. It means that the person is being insulted, or being told offensive or annoying things. 

Use it like this

Demain, nous partons en goguette – Tomorrow, we’re going on holiday.

Je ne veux qu’une chose : partir en goguette ! – There’s only one thing I want: to take a vacation. 


Partir en vacances – Going on holiday

Partir en congés – Taking some time off

En voiture Simone ! – Here we go!

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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.