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avoir une araignée au plafond

“Avoir une araignée au plafond” is a comical French expression that translates literally to “to have a spider on the ceiling”.

English meanings:

  • to have a few screws loose
  • to have bats in the belfry

A French meaning is “être un peu fou mais sans etre gênant aux autres” (to be a bit crazy but not bothersome to others”.

example sentence:

  • Tout le monde sait que Géralde a une araignée au plafond parce qu’il n’arrête jamais de se parler tout seul. Everybody knows Geralde has a few screws loose because he never stops talking to himself.

synonym expressions:

  • avoir une case de vide – Literally: to have an empty compartment
  • avoir une case en moins – Literally: to have one less compartment
  • avoir un grain – Literally: to have a seed
  • travailler du chapeau  – Literally: to work from the hat

more French expressions

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six 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 online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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