Mon œil ! - French Expression Explained

Extreme Close-up of Woman Touching Corner of her Eye
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The familiar French expression mon ​œil ! (pronounced ​[mo(n) neuy]) is used to express either incredulous/ironic disbelief, like the English expressions "my foot!" or "yeah, right!", or an almost indignant refusal, as in "no way!" or "ain't gonna happen!" It literally translates to "my eye!"

In high school French class, I only learned the first meaning (along with the accompanying gesture), but the second makes sense too - there's a certain logic in using the same expression for disbelief that something has happened as for a refusal to make something happen.

Example

  • Il m'a dit de me réveiller à 5h00 pour commencer le projet et j'ai dit « mon œil ! »
  • He told me to wake up at 5am to start the project and I said, "yeah, right!"


Related expression: Pas plus que (dans) mon œil - "Not at all, not in the slightest"

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Lawless, Laura K. "Mon œil ! - French Expression Explained." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/mon-oeil-vocabulary-1371309. Lawless, Laura K. (2017, March 2). Mon œil ! - French Expression Explained. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/mon-oeil-vocabulary-1371309 Lawless, Laura K. "Mon œil ! - French Expression Explained." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/mon-oeil-vocabulary-1371309 (accessed January 21, 2018).