avoir la gueule de bois

“Avoir la gueule de bois” is one of the most common of all the French expressions and idioms. The literal translation is “to have a mouth of wood”. English equivalents including include:

  • to have a hangover

It is believed that this expressions dates to the 18th or 19th century with the la gueule (French slang for mouth) being said to be as dry as wood.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Il a trop bu hier soir. Quand il s’est levé ce matin il a vomit et il avait la gueule de bois. He drank too much yesterday. When he got up this morning he vomited and had a hangover.

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