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Posts tagged ‘French dog sayings’

No. 164: Idioms/Expressions with our Favorite Furry Four-footed French Friend


Two dog things happened today.

One, I came across a great dog related French expression, and two, while playing ball with mon petit chien at the Champ de Mars, I realized how much joy pets add to our lives (and even the lives of some solemn locals who aren’t habitual smilers).

The literal meaning of the expression I came across in a French fashion magazine: avoir du chien—to have some dog, sent me searching for my French-English dictionary. It turns out that when you “have some dog”, you are attractive or have that certain (indescribable) something about you. I want to have me some dog!

Well that made me smile, and want to find out what other French sayings incorporate our favorite furry four-footed friend.

Here are a few of the funnier ones I came across just now:

  • arriver comme un chien dans un jeu de quille: to turn up when least desired or expected, to show up at the worst possible moment; literally, to arrive like a dog in a bowling game. I like the fact that the French have the dog showing up, of all places, at a bowling alley.
  • chiens écrasés: newspaper articles that serve as filler, literally crushed dogs. This one I need to explore further. Can anyone help me out? What is the correlation between squashed dogs and fluff pieces in the media?
  • un chien vivant vaut mieux qu’un lion mort: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; literally, a live dog is worth more than a dead lion. Mais, oui. je suis d’accord.

And of course, my favorite:

  • les chiens ne font pas des chats: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; literally, dogs don’t make cats. Well, that’s for darn tooting sure….

…sorry cat-loving readers, but I promise a post tomorrow on expressions with our second favorite furry four-footed friend…and s’il vous plaît remember: Qui m’aime aime mon chien. 


Mais, oui. je suis d’accord: Oh, yes. I agree.

mon petit chien: my little (male) dog

Qui m’aime aime mon chien: love me, love my dog; literally, he who loves me loves my dog