Avoir la frite

French expressions analyzed and explained

Elle a la frite
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Expression: Avoir la frite

Pronunciation: [a vwar la freet]

Meaning: to feel great, be full of energy

Literal translation: to have the French fry

Register: familiar

Notes: The French expressions avoir la frite and avoir la patate mean exactly the same thing: to feel great. Patate is an informal synonym for the head and by extension so is frite, thus saying that you have the potato or the French fry means that you have "the (proper) head" - in other words, your head is in a good place and you feel great.

Examples

   Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais depuis mardi, j'ai la frite !
   I don't know why, but I've felt great since Tuesday!

   Elle avait la frite jusqu'au coup de téléphone de sa banque.
   She was feeling great until the bank called.

   Tu n'as pas l'air d'avoir la frite.
   You don't look well, You don't look like you feel very well.

   Pauvre Thomas, il n'a pas la frite aujourd'hui.
   Poor Thomas, he's not feeling too great, he's a bit down today.

Avoir indicates a current status; you can substitute other verbs to indicate a change or continuation.

   Qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire pour lui donner la frite ?
   What can we do to cheer/perk him up?

   J'espère qu'il va garder la frite quand il entendra les nouvelles.
   I hope he'll still feel good when he hears the news.

Synonymous Expressions

  • être d'attaque - literally, "to be on attack"
  • être en forme - "to be on form"
  • être en pleine forme - "to be on full form"
  • être plein d'énergie - "to be full of energy"
  • avoir la pêche (informal) - "to have the peach"
  • avoir la pêche d'enfer (informal) - "to have the peach from hell"
  • avoir mangé du cheval (informal) - "to have eaten some horse"
  • avoir mangé du lion (informal) - "to have eaten some lion"
  • être dans son assiette (informal, usually used in the negative) - "to be in one's plate"
  • péter le feu (familiar) - "to be bursting with fire"
  • péter les flammes (familiar) - "to be bursting with flames"

Warning: The Collins-Robert Dictionary gives the alternate British translation "to be full of beans" for avoir la frite and some of the synonyms. However, in American English, that means "to talk nonsense," which in French is dire n'importe quoi or dire des bêtises.

Related Expressions

  • être une frite - to be sickly, puny (literally, "to be a French fry")
  • faire une frite à quelqu'un (informal) - to slap someone on the bottom (literally, "to do a French fry on someone")

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