French Word of the Day: Cartonner

French Word of the Day: Cartonner
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Give yourself a pat on the back.

Why do I need to know the word cartonner? 

Because it is important to recognise achievement. 

What does it mean? 

Cartonner, pronounced “car-tohn-eh”, commonly translates as “to achieve success” or “to gain popularity”. 

It is thought to have come from the funfairs of the mid 20th century when visitors would shoot pellet rifles at cardboard (carton) targets. Faire un carton was the phrase used to say that you had hit the mark. 

It very much a colloquial expression. 

Use it like this

Mon nouvel album a cartonné – My new album has been a hit 

Elle a cartonné à ses exams – She has done well in her exams

Tu vas cartonner – You will be successful 

Je cartonne en maths – I am great at maths

Ça cartonne – That is a hit 

Plus ça cartonne, plus on a d’opportunité comme travailler avec des marques – The more this becomes popular, the more opportunities we have to work with brands 

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See also on The Local:

Other carton phrases

Carton rouge/jaune – A red/yellow card [sport]

Être cartonné par les critiques – To be attacked by critics 

Prendre un carton – To receive a hefty bill

Rester dans les cartons – To describe an idea or project that never went beyond the planning stage

Taper le carton – To play cards

J’ai cartonné en voiture – I had a car crash 

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