être aux petits oignons

Être aux petits oignons is a French idiom that translates literally to “to be to little onions” or more loosely “to be cooked with little onions.” The meaning of the idiom is:

  • to be perfect
  • prepared with attention
  • prepared with the greatest care

These meanings suggest that in French culture, when a dish is prepared with little pieces of onion, it’s prepared with perfection and great care.

Another related expression is “soigner quelqu’un aux petits oignons”, which means to treat somebody like a king or queen. The verb soigner means to treat or care for.

Here are some example sentences:

Speed up your learning with an app

Many of our students have greatly enhanced their learning by using an app. On these pages we've examined the top-30 apps for learning French. On this pages we've written comprehensive reviews for Pimsleur (great for people struggling with pronunciation), Rosetta Stone and FrenchPod101 (both great for visual learners).

  • Elle a passé toute la journée dans la cusine pour que le repas soit aux petits oignons. She spent entire day in the kitchen so that the meal can be perfect.
  • Il est tellement bien dans sa maison de retraite et les infirmières le soigne aux petits oignons. He’s doing so well in his nursing home and the nurses are treating him like a king.

back to main expressions page

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!