In French as in many other languages, we have several funny expressions that are full of imagery!
In this article I want to introduce you to some of them:
1) Il pleut comme vache qui pisse
It’s raining like a pissing cow
In France we say this when it’s raining a lot. This expression appeared in the second half of the 19th century, someone must have seen a cow peeing during a walk in the countryside and the comparison came into his mind! When you observe a cow peeing, I’m sure you can understand why we use this expression!
2) Il ne faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties
Don’t push granny in the nettles
Don’t worry in France we don’t have a weird tradition consisting of pushing our grandmothers in the nettles. We often say that to someone who is exaggerating ;)
3) Avoir un poil dans la main
To have a hair in the hand
The first time I heard this expression I was in primary school. A teacher was talking about a pupil saying: “il a un poil dans la main”. As a child I really thought this poor pupil really had a hair in his hand! Actually, she meant that he was lazy!
4) Avoir les yeux plus gros que le ventre
To have eyes bigger than the stomach
It’s the same expression in English. It's when you help yourself to too much food and you are not able to eat everything. Who is a "gourmand" here? ;)
5) Va te faire cuire un œuf !
Go and cook an egg for yourself!
Let’s continue in the food topic with this very funny expression. When someone is annoying you, you can use this expression. In the old times the kitchen was the domain of the wife. When the husband was criticizing her cooking, she told him " va te faire cuire un oeuf !" to remind him that him he didn’t know anything about cooking. It's a little bit more polite than some other expressions ;)