Gueule de bois

French expressions analyzed and explained

hungover young people
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Expression: Gueule de bois

Pronunciation: [gool d(eu) bwa]

Meaning: hangover

Literal translation: wooden mouth

Register: informal


A hangover is, hopefully, not something you have every day, but when you do, it might be helpful to know that the French translation is la gueule de bois. Gueule is an informal term for "mouth," and de bois describes how dry it feels when you have a hangover. Coincidentally, bois is also the first and second person present conjugation of boire —​ to drink.


   Bonne Année ! Ne bois trop de champagne, tu ne veux pas avoir la gueule de bois demain.

   Happy New Year! Don't drink too much champagne, you don't want to have a hangover tomorrow.

   Oh là là, ma tête ! J'ai la gueule de bois.

   Ohh, my head! I have a hangover/I'm hung over.

   Qu'est-ce que tu vas faire pour soigner ta gueule de bois ?

   What will you do to cure your hangover?


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Team, ThoughtCo. "Gueule de bois." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Team, ThoughtCo. (2023, April 5). Gueule de bois. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "Gueule de bois." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).