10 Popular French Sayings

It’s always fun to drop some common saying during a conversation. I always get the impression that I sound more natural and “native-like’ whenever I use one of these. But let’s cut to the chase, here are 10 very popular French sayings and their English equivalents.

How many of them do you know ? Try to guess and check how well you know the French language !


The expressions (and loads of others) come from a tiny but great book by Jean-Bernard Piat It’s raining cats and dogs. It’s a book about English expressions for the speakers of French.

You can recognize it’s a Frenchman who published the book since in French all titles are written in small letters, except for the first one. In English, every word  in a title starts in capital letter, i.e. it should be “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs” (except for conjunction words, of course).

I don’t know whether it was done intentionally or not, but very often in manuals of English written by the French you can see the English titles written the French way. A small example of French oddity : )

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