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French expression of the Day: Le moral dans les chaussettes

Why your socks can be a crucial indicator of your state of happiness.

French expression of the Day: Le moral dans les chaussettes
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know le moral dans les chaussettes?

Maybe you’re worried about money, the weather is cold or the boulangerie has run out of baguettes – you need something to describe how things are just getting you down.

What does it mean?

[Avoir] le moral dans les chaussettes means exactly what it says – [to have your] morale in your socks. And it describes the feeling that the daily grind is getting you down.

Le moral in French doesn’t refer to your personal morals or standards (that’s moralité or mœurs) it refers to your morale, or your mental state and level of happiness/contentment or unhappiness/discontent.

Someone who is in a good mood or is generally content with their lot is said to avoir le moral – they are filled with morale. 

At the other end of the good humour scale is having your morale down in the socks, ie at ground level.

Use it like this

Il avait le moral dans les chaussettes – he was in a funk

Franchement, Monsieur, ils ont le moral dans les chaussettes – Honestly, sir, they are not at all happy

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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