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French Idiom: Avoir Le Cafard (To Be Down In The Dumps)

French Idiom: Avoir Le Cafard (To Be Down In The Dumps)

In today’s lesson we’ll have a look at one of my all time favorite French expressions: avoir le cafard. The literal translation is “to have the cockroach” and meanings include to be depressed, down in the dumps or to have the blues. Let’s jump right into this fun lesson!

avoir le cafard

to be depressed

French Idiom: Avoir Le Cafard (To Be Down In The Dumps)

According to Europe1.fr, the French word “cafard” comes from “kafir” in Arabic, which was used to describe a person who had little faith. The article goes on to say that in the 16th century in France, the word was also used in this sense, meaning that be a cockroach was to live in the dark, far away from the light of God.

In modern French, “avoir le cafard” simply means to be depressed.

Je suis déprimé depuis un bon moment. J’ai le cafard.

I’ve been depressed for a while. “I have the blues”.

Ma petite copine m’a quitee et j’ai le cafard.

My girlfriend left me and I’m depressed.

Si tu as le cafard, telephone-moi et on peut en parler.

If you’re depressed, call me and we can talk about it.

Conclusion

We hope you don’t “avoir le carard” today! Now check our lesson covering another fun French idiom: Pisser dans un violon (to waste your breath, to talk to a wall).

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David Issokson
David Issokson is a lifelong language learner and speaks over seven languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private lessons. When not teaching or writing his French Word of the Day lessons, David enjoys his time skiing, hiking and mountain biking in Victor, Idaho.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language learner and speaks over seven languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private lessons. When not teaching or writing his French Word of the Day lessons, David enjoys his time skiing, hiking and mountain biking in Victor, Idaho.

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