être sur la paille

The French expression “être sur la paille” translates literally to “to be on the straw”.

English meaning:

  • to wind up in the gutter
  • to be penniless

French meaning:

  • sans argent – without money
  • dans la misère – in misery

Example sentence:

  • Mon ami a été sur la paille il y a un an. Aujourd’hui il gère une affaire rentable et tient une belle maison. My friend was in the gutter a year ago. Today he manages a profitable business and owns a beautiful home.

Related expressions:

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  • être fauché – to be broke
  • être en faillite – to be broke, bankrupt (applies to businesses)
  • être raide – to be broke (slang)

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