être tiré à quatre épingles

The French expression “être tiré à quatre épingles” to be pulled by four pins”. English meanings include:

  • to be all dressed up
  • to be dressed to the nines

The idea is that when clothes are stretched by pins one looks very sharp. A French definition “être vêtu avec un soin méticuleux”, to be dressed with meticulous care.

Here’s an example sentence:

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  • Marc est arrivé a son mariage tiré à quatre épingles: Il était vêtu en constume traditionel japaonais. Tous les invités étaient tellement impressionnés par son costume! Marc arrived at his marriage all dressed up in a traditional Japanese suit. All the guests were so impressed by his suit!

There’s a synonymous expression:

  • se mettre sur son trente et un – to put on your 31

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