For members


French Word of the Day: Craquant

This adjective shouldn't just be applied to a baguette left in the oven for too long - it is also a very endearing way to describe someone.

French word of the Day: Craquant
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know craquant

Because it is hard not to smile when you meet that special someone. 

What does it mean?

Craquant, pronounced “crack-on”, has two meanings. 

Literally speaking, it is used to describe things that make a cracking sound or to describe crunchy foods.

For example you could say Ces biscuits sont craquants – These biscuits are crunchy. 

More colloquially though, craquant is a word used to describe someone who is cute or adorable e.g. il est trop craquant/elle est trop craquante – He/she is so cute 

T’as un sourire craquant – You have a cute smile 

Taking this second meaning, there is another phrase that people used, in which craquant is transformed into the verb, craquer. It is a way to saying that you have a romantic and/or sexual attraction to someone. 

Je craque sur toi – I fancy you 


croquant, croustillant – Crunchy/Crispy

Joli, mignon, adorable – These are ways of expressing the affectionate meaning of craquant 

Member comments

  1. For craquant one could say “cracking” in english. eg. That was a cracking meal you cooked. She is a cracking looker, he is a cracking footballer.

    1. In Australia « What a cracker! » means something is amazingly good. A cracker of a meal, a cracker of a day, a cracker of a bloke, etc.

  2. Also plein à craquer = full to bursting. Craquer sur quelque chose can also be about a thing, e.g. new item of clothing.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Mettre le holà

This might look like a mix of Spanish and French, but it is definitely not Franish.

French Expression of the Day: Mettre le holà

Why do I need to know mettre le holà?

Because you might need to do this if your friends go from laughing with you to laughing at you. 

What does it mean?

Mettre le holà – pronounced meh-truh luh oh-la – literally means to put the ‘holà’ on something. You might be thinking this must be some clever mix of Spanish and French, but ‘holà’ actually has nothing to do with the Spanish greeting. 

This expression is a way to say that’s enough – or to ‘put the brakes on something.’

If a situation appears to be agitated, and you feel the need to intervene in order to help calm things down, then this might be the expression you would use. Another way of saying it in English might be to ‘put the kibosh on it.’

While the origins of ‘kibosh’ appear to be unknown, ‘holà’ goes back to the 14th century in France. Back then, people would shout “Ho! Qui va là?” (Oh, who goes there?) as an interjection to call someone out or challenge them. 

Over time this transformed into the simple holà, which you might hear on the streets, particularly if you engage in some risky jaywalking. 

A French synonym for this expression is ‘freiner’ – which literally means ‘to break’ or ‘put the brakes on,’ and can be used figuratively as well as literally. 

Use it like this

Tu aurais dû mettre le holà tout de suite. Cette conversation a duré bien trop longtemps, et il était si offensif. – You should have put a stop to that immediately. That conversation went on for too long, and he was so offensive. 

J’ai essayé de mettre le holà à la blague sur ma mère, mais ils étaient sans pitié. – I tried to put a stop to the joke about my mother, but they were merciless.