The French Expression 'C'est le pied'

French expressions analyzed and explained

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Expression: C'est le pied

Pronunciation: [say leu pyay]

Meaning: it's great

Literal translation: it's the foot

Register: familiar


The French expression c'est le pied means that something is great, terrific. This positive meaning of pied is left over from old slang, in which it referred to one's share of the loot.

C'est le pied can also be negated: ce n'est pas le pied and—even more familiarly—c'est pas le pied* mean "it's no good, no picnic, no fun."


   Tu dois voir ma nouvelle bagnole - c'est le pied !

   You've got to see my new car - it's great!


   Travailler de nuit, ce n'est pas le pied.

   Working nights is no picnic.

Synonymous expression: quel pied ! (But be careful, because that can also mean "what an idiot!" Context is everything.)

Related expression: prendre son pied - to get one's kicks, enjoy doing (particularly when talking about sex)

*Ne is often dropped in informal/familiar French - learn more.