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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Le Fisc

You probably don't want to get on the bad side of the Fisc.

French Expression of the Day: Le Fisc
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know le Fisc?

Because you might have heard it mentioned in slightly ominous tones.

What does it mean?

Le Fisc – pronounced luh fisk – is a term used to reference the French institution in charge of levying taxes. It’s a shorter, more casual version of the phrase l’administration fiscale (the fiscal administration).  Often, it refers specifically to the“Direction générale des Finances publiques which is the French public finances administration.

Though it may look like a shortened version of the feminine noun ‘fiscalité’ (which refers to the set of laws related to the tax collection system in France), le Fisc is a masculine noun with a different definition that refers specifically to the government body doing the tax collecting.

The closest English synonyms to this expression might be ‘the taxman’ or ‘tax authorities.’  

The term le Fisc comes from the Latin word “Fiscus” which means “basket” and by extension went on to be used interchangeably for ‘treasure’ as well. 

In ancient Rome, the name for the public treasury was ‘fiscus,’ which is the root of the French terms le Fisc and fiscalité.  

Often, you’ll see this word used in newspapers or by politicians when referencing matters related to the national budget and taxation.

Use it like this

Le Fisc va récupérer €10 millions de plus cette année dans les piscines non déclarées. – The taxman will recover more than €10 million in taxes this year due to undeclared swimming pools. 

Le Fisc a pris connaissance du fait que l’acteur omettait de déclarer une partie importante de ses revenus en France. Il sera probablement condamné à une amende. – The tax authorities have become aware of how the actor was failing to declare significant portions of his income in France. He will likely be fined.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: À la one again

Half of it is in English, but this 'franglish' expression is not logical for native speakers of English.

French Expression of the Day: À la one again

Why do I need to know à la one again ?

Because if you finished your task in a rush, you may have done it like this.

What does it mean?

À la one again – roughly pronounced ah la wun eh-gehn –  means to do something carelessly, quickly, or nonsensically. It translates precisely to “in the manner of the one again.”

This slang expression first entered the French vocabulary in the 1990’s, and as you may have noticed it combines French and English words, in a way that does not make much sense to your average English-speaker. 

The phrase is popular amongst young people in France, but its origins are up for debate. Most people in France would recognise it as having been popularised again by the comedian Franck Duboscq in his sketches.

Use it like this

J’ai oublié que j’avais un projet à rendre aujourd’hui, alors j’ai fait un truc à la one again. – I forgot I had a project due today, so I threw something together carelessly.

J’ai fait la liste des invités à la one again donc ce sera un groupe de personnes au hasard. – I made the invitation list haphazardly so the group will be random.

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