French Expression of the Day: Par-dessus le marché

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 1 Mar, 2023 Updated Wed 1 Mar 2023 10:40 CEST
French Expression of the Day: Par-dessus le marché
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

This French expression will come in handy if you want to add another train of thought to your sentence.


Why do I need to know par-dessus le marché?

Because you might be wondering why your French friend keeps referencing about the market in the middle of their sentences.

What does it mean?

Par-dessus le marché roughly pronounced pahr deh-sue luh mahr-shay – is a French expression which translates exactly to “above (or over) the market”. 

In reality, it means “and on top of that” or simply “oh and by the way” - the type of phrase you might use to transition into your next point.


Even though linguists do not agree on the expression’s exact origins, it has been in use since at least the 18th century and it is still commonly employed by many French people, though perhaps less commonly among the youth.

Experts believe that the word marché in the expression does not actually refer to a market where goods and products are sold, as it might appear. Instead, marché refers to the act of taking a step or walking. As a result, the expression gives the idea of saying “and on the next step” or “onto the next step”.

Use it like this

Je lui ai dit qu'il devrait prendre un maillot de bain. Par-dessus le marché, j'ai trouvé le tien près de la machine à laver. – I told him he would want to pack a bathing suit. And by the way, I found yours next to the washing machine.

Je me suis tordu la cheville en faisant de l'escalade. Par-dessus le marché, je me suis blessé les épaules en utilisant les béquilles après. – I twisted my ankle while rock climbing. And on top of that, I hurt my shoulders using the crutches after.


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