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couper l’herbe sous le pied de quelqu’un

“Couper l’herbe sous le pied de quelqu’un” is a fun figurative French idiom that translates directly to “to cut the grass under somebody’s feet”. Here’s the English meaning:

  • to cut the ground from under somebody’s feet
  • to pull the rug out from under somebody’s feet

Expressio.fr offers the following meaning in French: To frustrate somebody with an expected advantage by passing them, or to prevent somebody from succeeding in business by taking their place.

Here’s an example sentence:

Frenchlearner.com a coupé les pieds de tous ses concurrents en sortant plus de contenu utile et interessant. Frenchlearner.com pulled the rug out from under the feet of its competitors by coming out with more useful and interesting content.

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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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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