Québécois French - Best Idioms

Hero Images / Getty Images.

Here is my top list of Canadian French Idioms. These expressions are difficult to translate, so make sure you read the example to really get the meaning. I also added the French from France equivalent whenever I could. Enjoy!

Michel is French and Canadian. He lives in the gorgeous island of Belle-Isle in Brittany where he offers French immersion. He also taught at McGill in Montreal where he spends a few months each year.

1 - Pantoute :
Je ne prends pas de sucre pantoute dans mon café !
I don't take sugar at all in my coffee!
Pantoute: not at all.
An old adverb that is not used in France anymore.
In French From France, one would say "pas du tout".

2 - Pogner :
J'ai pogné la balle.
I caught the ball.
It means “prendre”, also means to be successful. 
One can also say “pogner les nerfs”:  to get angry.
In French from France, one would say "attrapper", "avoir du succès" or "s'énerver"

3 - Rêver en couleurs :
Si tu crois que je vais t'aider, tu rêves en couleur !
If you think I'm going to help you, you are dreaming in color!
It means to have illusions, to delude oneself.
In French from France, one would just say "rêver" (tu rêves !).

4 - Se faire griller la couenne :
Quand il fait beau, j'adore me faire griller la couenne.
When it's sunny, I love to roast my (pork) skin.
It obviously means to sunbathe. 
In French from France, one would say "se dorer au soleil" - to get golden under the sun.

Continues on page 2...

Continued from page 1.

5 - S’enfarger : 
Je me suis enfarger au passage.
There is no literal translation possible... It means to stumble, to almost fall. 
In French from France, trébucher.
A common expression comes from it: "S’enfarger dans les fleurs du tapis : to stumble over the carpets flowers" : to complicated a situation with insignificant details...

6 -Tiguidou! 
C'est tigidou.
It's alright.
Interjection which indicates that everything is ok. 

7 - Vire son capot de bord : 
Les politiciens virent tout le temps leur capot de bord.
Politicians always turn their jakets inside out.
It means to change opinion.
Un capot is an old word for coat or jacket. 
In français de France, one would say : retourner sa veste. 

I will be adding more expressions soon, so be informed of new articles, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter (it's easy, you just enter your email address - look for it it's somewhere on the French language homepage) or follow me on my social network pages below.

I post exclusive mini lessons, tips, pictures and more daily on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages - so press the links below - talk to you there!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
- Dialogue in French Canadian ≠ Français de France + English translation