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clouer le bec à quelqu’un

The French expression “clouer le bec à quelqu’un” translates literally to “to nail somebody’s mouth.

English meaning:

  • to shut somebody up

French meaning:

  • faire taire quelqu’un – to shut somebody up

Example sentence:

  • Il n’arrêtait pas de se plaindre alors je lui ai cloue le bec ! He wouldn’t stop complaining so I shut him up!

Related expressions:

  • fermer la gueule de quelqu’unto shut somebody up
  • ferme-la ! shut up!

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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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