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5 funny expressions you’ll hear only in Quebec

It is well known that many Quebecers use many funny expressions in their daily conversations. Indeed, Quebecois French is a dynamic language that offers a lot of unusual expressions, slang terms, and turns of phrase.

Want to impress your friends in Quebec? Just want to know a little more about what characterizes the Quebec culture? Discover here 5 funny Quebec expressions, their literal translations and their meanings! 

1- Faire le boss des bécosses

Translation: To be the boss of the bécosses (toilets)

 This expression is used for someone who acts with an unjustified level of authority and who mistakes himself for the leader. The word "bécosse" is a deformation of "back house", which means the dry toilet behind the house.

Example: "Son mari est un vrai petit boss des bécosses. Je ne sais pas comment elle fait pour l’endurer." ("Her husband is a real pain in the ass. I don't know how she puts up with it.”)

2- Avoir les yeux dans la graisse de bines

Translation : To have the eyes in the fat of bines

When we say to someone "qu'il a les yeux dans la graisse de bines", we mean that his look seems different than usual, even absent. This empty look can be caused by fatigue, alcohol or drugs for example. Usually, to say that someone has eyes in the fat of bines is not a compliment, because most of the time, it means that the person seems very tired

Example: Je crois que j’ai fait une erreur dans le texte du courriel à envoyer, j’ai les yeux dans la graisse de bines ce matin!"
("I think I made a mistake in the text of the email to send, my head is up my ass this morning!")

3- Avoir des croûtes à manger

Translation: Having scabs to eat

This expression means having to acquire more experience before claiming to be an expert in a field, having a lot to learn, having a long way to go before being successful.

Example: "J'ai encore des croûtes à manger avant d’être un vrai boulanger." ("I still have some experience to gain before being a real baker")

4- Être né pour un petit pain

Translation : To be born for a bun

This expression conveys the idea of living a small life, born to have little and do little.

Example: "Mon père a toujours cru que nous étions nés pour un petit pain." ("My father always thought that we were predestined to live poorly.")

5- Tire toi une bûche

Translation: Shoot you a log

This expression is used to invite a person to take a chair to join the group or to sit at the table with the other guests. It is an expression that originated during the period of French colonization in North America: the living conditions of the colonists were precarious and the seats were often replaced by simple logs cut to the necessary height. "Tire-toi une bûche" meant "grab a log to sit on", the expression has remained today.

Example: "Ne reste pas debout à l’écart, tire-toi une bûche et viens boire un coup avec nous !" ("Don't just stand there, take a seat and come have a drink with us!")

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