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French Expression of the Day: C’est du bidon

French Expression of the Day: C'est du Bidon
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
We all know that drama is part of good storytelling. But some people go a little bit too far. Here is the perfect French phrase for when you next see this happening.

Why do I need to know c’est du bidon?

Because some people love to stretch the truth. 

What does it mean?

C’est du bidon, pronounced “Say doo bee-don”, means “It is false/bogus/bullshit”. 

Bidon itself is a versatile word. As a noun, it can mean someone who is a liar, a container for carrying liquid, or a belly. 

For example un bidon de lait means “a carton of milk”.

It is unclear what exactly links the side related to untruth to the other meanings. I could of course, just make something up on the spot. But my explanation would probably be complete and utter bidon

When used as an adjective, bidon is invariable which means it does not have to agree with the noun (single/plural, masculine/feminine). 

It is a relatively benign word and unlikely to cause much offence. It is definitely child and grandparent safe. 

How can I use it?

C’est du bidon ton excuse – Your excuse is rubbish 

Tes réponses sont bidon – Your answers are phoney 

Il a inventé une histoire bidon en guise d’alibi – He made up a bogus story as an alibi

Nous savons tous que ce parlement est bidon – We all know that this is an illegitimate parliament 

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See also on The Local:

Synonyms 

There are a number of other adjectives that you can use to describe something as fake/phoney: 

faux

fimulé

bluffé

truqué 


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