Manger son pain noir :

Manger son pain noir (Eating black bread) is an expression that means going through a difficult period, having difficulties.

This expression comes from the rebirth, bread becomes a common food. Noble people eat white bread which is better while poorer people ate black bread. This meant that they were in difficulty.

For example : Les étudiants pendant la période de pandémie mangent leur pain noir.


Manger de la vache enragée :

Manger de la vache enragée (Eating rabid cows) means having an angry attitude. In this expression we have the word 'vache', the cow, and 'enragée', rabid which means someone who has rabies (the disease) or is very angry.

This expression comes from the fact that in the past, when there was no food, some people were forced to eat meat from sick animals that sometimes had rabies.

For example : Elle a mangé de la vache enragée ou quoi ? Elle a l’air énervée.

French Idiomatic Expression - Manger de la vache enragée

Manger à tous les râteliers :

Manger à tous les râteliers (Eating at all racks) means taking advantage of all possible sources, taking advantage of as many things as possible selfishly.

'Un râtelier' is a rack, an object in which animals can eat.

Animals will often eat at all racks and take advantage of their neighbors' food.

For example : Il mange vraiment à tous les râteliers. Il demande de l’argent à ses parents, à son oncle et maintenant à son frère.


Manger son chapeau :

Manger son chapeau (Eating your hat) means acknowledging your mistake.

Admitting that one has made a mistake is something difficult to do in general, eating one's hat is also difficult, hence the meaning of this expression.

This expression would originate from the equivalent English expression.

For example: Parfois, il faut savoir manger son chapeau pour favoriser la communication.

French Idiomatic Expression - Manger son chapeau

Manger sur le pouce :

Manger sur le pouce (Eating on the go) means eating very quickly. The thumb here represents the finger.

When we eat on the thumb, we don't sit at the table, we're going to eat a sandwich, so we're going to use our hands, our thumbs.

For example : Le midi, j’ai une pause très courte donc je mange sur le pouce.


Manger dans la main de quelqu'un :

Manger dans la main de quelqu’un (Eating out of someone's hand) means being submissive and dependent on someone.

When you eat out of someone's hand, you are like an animal that has been domesticated, you have no control.

For example : Depuis qu’il a une piscine, tout le monde lui mange dans la main.

French Idiomatic Expression - Manger dans la main de quelqu'un


Manger les pissenlits par la racine :

Manger les pissenlits par la racine  (Eating dandelions by the root) means being dead.

The expression comes from the fact that when someone is dead and buried the flowers grow above him and the roots are then his only food.

For example  : Je n’ai pas hâte de manger les pissenlits par la racine.


Manger du lion :

Manger du lion (Eating lion) means having a lot of energy. This expression is a metaphor in reference to lions, which are animals full of energy and strength.

For example : Tu es en forme ce matin. Tu as mangé du lion ?

French Idiomatic Expression - Manger du lion


Your turn, make a sentence with one of these idiomatic expressions, write it in comment!

See you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷