French Expressions with Casser

Idiomatic French expressions

Annoyed woman
Il nous les casse! means "He's a pain in the neck!". Jamie Grill/Getty Images

The French verb casser literally means "to break" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to talk about breaking someone, boring someone stiff, warning someone, making an omelette by breaking eggs, and more with this list of expressions with casser.

Possible Meanings of casser

  • to break
  • to crack (a nut)
  • to snap (a branch)
  • to spoil the flavor (of wine)
  • to demote
  • to annul
  • to lower (prices)
  • (familiar) to kill (esp. if motivated by prejudice)

    Expressions with casser

    crier casse-cou à quelqu'un
    to warn someone

    casser du sucre sur le dos de quelqu'un
    to talk about someone behind his back

    casser la baraque (informal)
    to bring the house down

    casser la baraque à quelqu'un (informal)
    to screw everything up for someone

    casser la croûte (informal)
    to have a bite to eat

    casser la figure à quelqu'un (informal)
    to smash someone's face in

    casser la graine (informal)
    to have a bite to eat

    casser la gueule à quelqu'un (familiar)
    to smash someone's face in

    casser le morceau (familiar)
    to spill the beans, come clean to give the game away

    casser les oreilles à quelqu'un (informal)
    to deafen someone

    casser les pieds à quelqu'un (informal)
    to bore someone stiff, get on someone's nerves

    casser les reins à quelqu'un
    to ruin, break someone

    casser la tête à quelqu'un
    to deafen someone, to bore someone stiff

    casser sa pipe (informal)
    to kick the bucket, snuff it

    à tout casser
    stupendous, fantastic; at the most

    Ça / Il ne casse pas des briques (informal) That's no great shakes.


    Ça / Il ne casse pas trois pattes à un canard (informal)
    It / He is nothing special, nothing to get excited about

    Ça / Il ne casse rien.
    It / He is nothing special, nothing to get excited about

    Casse-toi ! (familiar)
    Get the hell out of here!

    Il ne s'est pas cassé le cul (slang)
    He didn't bust his butt.

    Il ne s'est pas cassé la tête (informal)
    He didn't overtax himself, put any effort into it.


    Il ne s'est pas cassé le tronc / la nénette (familiar)
    He didn't do much, try very hard.

    Il nous les casse ! (familiar)
    He's a pain in the neck!

    Tu me casses les bonbons ! (familiar)
    You're a pain in the neck!

    un/e casse-cou (informal)
    daredevil, reckless person

    un/e casse-couilles (slang)
    pain in the butt

    un casse-croûte
    snack

    casse-cul (slang adj)
    bloody/damn annoying

    un casse-dalle (familiar)
    snack

    un casse-graine (informal)
    snack

    casse-gueule (fam adj)
    dangerous, treacherous

    un casse-noisettes/noix
    nutcracker(s)

    un casse-pattes (informal)
    slog, difficult climb

    un casse-pieds (informal)
    pain in the neck, nuisance, bore

    le casse-pipes (informal)
    the front

    un casse-tête
    club, brain-teaser, puzzle

    un casse-vitesse
    speed bump, sleeping policeman

    se casser (familiar)
    to split, take off 

    se casser pour + infinitive (informal)
    to strain oneself to do something, to work at something 

    se casser le cou
    to fall flat on one's face, go bankrupt

    se casser la figure (informal)
    to fall flat on one's face, go bankrupt

    se casser la figure contre (informal)
    to crash into

    se casser la jambe/le bras
    to break one's arm/leg

    se casser net
    to break clean off / through

    se casser le nez
    to find no one in, to fail

    se casser la tête sur (inf)
    to wrack one's brains about

    Proverbs with casser

    Il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l'amande.
    No pain no gain.

    On ne fait pas d'omelette sans casser des œufs.
    You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

    Qui casse les verres les paie.
    As you make your bed, so you must lie on it. You pay for your mistakes.

    Casser conjugations