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être pendu aux basques de quelqu’un

The French expression “être pendu aux basques de quelqu’un” translates literally to “to be hanging from somebody’s tailes”. Les basques are old-fashioned garment which hung down from the waist. Here are some English meanings:

  • to stick to somebody like glue
  • to be clingy (to somebody)
  • to hang onto somebody’s apron strings

A good French synonymous adjective is “collant” which literally means sticky but actually means clingy. gives the following French definition: “suivre quelqu’un de très près”, to follow somebody very closely. Here’s an example sentence:

  • La petite Marie est toujours pendu aux basques de sa grand-mère. Elle la suit partout! Little Marie sticks to her grandmother like glue. She follows her everywhere!

In French there’s another wonderful expression for “pendu aux basques”:

  • ne pas lâcher qqn d’une semelle – Literal translation: to not let go of somebody by one shoe sole.

Here’s another great related expression:

  • Lâche-moi les basques!Leave me alone!

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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