Friday, June 10, 2011

Geek's Corner 15 : French expressions with "avoir"

These are taken, with slight modification from the excellent French idioms list at

Language Realm French idioms

I have omitted those I consider to be fairly obvious; there is still a ton of them that remain.

avoir beau + infinitive
to carry out whatever act is given by the infinitive verb in vain ("tu as beau lui aviser" - there's no point in warning him, it won't do any good)

avoir de la bouteille
become mellow; grow mellow

avoir de la chance
be fortunate

avoir des antennes
have a sixth sense; have contacts (lit.: to have antennas)

avoir des ennuis
be in trouble; have problems

avoir deux poids deux mesures
use a double standard

avoir du cachet
have style

avoir du cran
have guts; be brave

avoir du foin dans les bottes
have feathered one’s nest

avoir du mal à
have difficulty

avoir envie de
want to; feel like.

avoir fait son temps
have had one’s day

avoir honte
be ashamed; be embarrassed

avoir l’esprit de clocher
be narrow-minded

avoir l’esprit mal tourné
have a dirty mind; have an evil mind

avoir l’estomac dans les talons
be famished; be starving

avoir l’estomac ereux
be famished

avoir la bouche en cœur

avoir la cote
be well thought of

avoir la dalle
be starving; be famished

avoir la dalle en pente
be a bit of a boozer; drink a little

avoir la dent
be hungry (lit.: have the tooth)

avoir la dent dure
be critical; be scathing (in one's remarks) (lit.: have a hard tooth)

avoir la flemme
cannot be bothered.

avoir la frite
be in shape

avoir la frousse
be scared stiff; be scared to death

avoir la manie de
be fanatical about

avoir la patate
be in shape

avoir le bras long
have pull; have influence

avoir le cafard
be down in the dumps; have the blues (lit.: to have the cockroach)

avoir le coeur sur la main
be kindhearted; give the shirt off one’s back; wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve (lit.: have the heart in the hand)

avoir le cœur sur les lèvres
wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve (lit.: have the heart on the lips)

avoir le coup de barre
be exhausted; be wiped out

avoir le coup de pompe
be exhausted; be wiped out

avoir le démon de midi
have a midlife crisis

avoir le dessus
be on top; be top dog; get the best of

avoir le diable au corps
be possessed

avoir le front
have the audacity; have the courage

avoir le trac
have stagefright

avoir les chevilles qui enflent
have a swollen head; be full of oneself (lit.: have swollen ankles)

avoir les dents du fond qui baignent
be stuffed; be completely full (lit.: have back teeth that are swimming)

avoir les dents longues
be very ambitious; set one's sights high (lit.: have long teeth)

avoir les dents qui rayent le parquet
set one's sights high; want it all (lit.: have teeth that reach the floor)

avoir les doigts crochus
be tight-fisted; be stingy

avoir les foies
have cold feet

avoir les jetons
be scared; have the jitters; have the willies

avoir les quatre fers en l’air
be dead

avoir lieu
take place; occur; happen. 1. La Coupe du monde de rugby a lieu en ce moment.

avoir louche
be in trouble; have problems

avoir mangé du lion
have a tiger in one’s tank; have incredible energy

avoir mauvais esprit
be uncooperative

avoir qqn aux trousses
have someone hot on one’s heels

avoir qqn dans le nez
hate someone

avoir sur le dos
be saddled with

avoir un chat dans la gorge
have a frog in one’s throat (lit.: have a cat in one’s throat)

avoir un cœur d’artichaut
be flighty (lit.: have a heart of an artichoke)

avoir un coup dans le nez
be slightly drunk

avoir un fil à la patte
be tied down

avoir un poil dans la main
shy away from work; avoid work at all costs

avoir un sursaut
be startled.

avoir un verre dans le nez
be slightly drunk

avoir une araignée au plafond
have a screw loose; have bats in one’s belfry (lit.: to have a spider in the ceiling)

avoir une dent contre qn
hold a grudge against someone (lit.: have a tooth against someone)

avoir une faim de loup
be ravenous; be famished; be hungry as a wolf

avoir une peur bleue de qch
be scared stiff of something

avoir vent de qch
get wind of something

1 comment:

  1. avoir la frite
    be in shape

    Please, may I have some more French fries, that way I can get into good shape.