French Expression of the Day: Partir en cacahuète

French Expression of the Day: Partir en cacahuète
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This is a very useful French expression for when things are beginning to slide out of control.

Why do I need to know the expression partir en cacahuète? 

Because things don’t always run smoothly.

What does it mean? 

Partir en cacahuète (pronounced par-tier on caka-wet) literally means: “to leave in peanut”. Obviously, that doesn’t really make too much sense. 

A better translation of the expression is “to spin out of control” or “to go nuts”. 

It is, as you might have guessed, an informal expression and one that you would use in everyday speech rather than an academic essay or serious work email. 

Use it like this

Vue la situation politique, j’ai peur que la France va partir en cacahuète – Considering the political situation, I am scared that France is going to spin out of control 

Je pars en cacahuète – I am going nuts 

Ça va très vite partir en cacahuète – It is going to spin out of control very quickly

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There are various other expressions to signify the exact same thing: 

partir en sucette (literally, to go lollipop)

partir en couille (literally, to go balls)

partir en vrille (literally, to go twist)

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