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French Word of the Day: Faire l’andouille

You can take doing the sausage too far, you know...

French Word of the Day: Faire l’andouille
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know faire l’andouille?

What parent doesn’t need to know new and exciting French ways to tell their children to stop messing about?

What does it mean?

Faire l’andouille – fair lann-doo-ee – literally translates as ‘[to] do the sausage’. It means to mess about, behave like an idiot. Basically, kids/teenagers. Especially boys.

An andouille sausage is usually grey, and is commonly made using the small intestines of a pig and has, let’s say, a distinctive odour. You might think it a little … uriney. So in that sense it’s not a million miles from the English phrase ‘pissing about’ to describe messing around or generally being a fool.

Use it like this

Fais pas l’andouille, ton examen est dans trois jours – Stop mucking about, your exam’s in three days! 

Similar phrases you could use

Faire l’oeuf – mucking around

Faire le jacques – acting up

Jouer au con – playing the fool 

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For members


French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?


Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener