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faire chou blanc

“Faire chou blanc” is a French expression that translates literally to “to make a white cabbage”. The meaning of this idiom is impossible to guess and has the following translations in English:

  • to come up empty
  • to draw a blank
  • to hit a brick wall.

French-to-French definitions include:

  • ne pas réussir son coup to fail at one’s try
  • ne rien gagner to win nothing

sample sentence:

  • Les policiers ont fait une enquête qui a duré des mois et ils ont fait chou blanc. The police carried out an investigation that lasted for monthes and they came up empty.

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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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