French Expression of the Day: Tube de Noël

French Expression of the Day: Tube de Noël
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This is a useful expression to describe the iconic tunes you hear over and over again at this time of year.

Why do I need to know tube de Noël?

Because like it or loathe it, there is no way you are going to get through the Christmas season without hearing Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You at least 10,000 times. That song spreads over the airwaves faster than Omicron. 

What does it mean?

A tube de Noël, pronounced “toob duh no-elle”, is the French word for a Christmas hit. 

It is used to describe a song which is exceptionally popular over the festive season. 

You can also say tube d’été to describe a hit song that becomes very popular over the summer. 

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See also on The Local:

According to Le Parisien, tube replaced saucisson as a way to convey the sense that a song is a hit in the 1950s. 

If you want to get a sense of some classic tubes de Noël listened to in France, you can listen to a 24 hour radio station dedicated to this kind of music HERE

Use it like this

Mariah Carey bat un nouveau record avec son tube de noël – Mariah Carey breaks another record with her Christmas hit

La diva de la pop est pour la troisième fois consécutive en top des charts avec son tube intemporel – The pop diva is at the top of the charts for the third consecutive time with her timeless hit 

Tu n’as jamais entendu ce tube de Noël? – Have you never heard this Christmas classic? 


Chanson de Noël/Chant de Noël – Christmas song

Titre de Noël – Christmas title (this can be a song, film, piece of art)

Titre phare – Hit song

Chanson populaire – A classic/folk song 

Chanson à succès – A hit song 

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