filer un mauvais coton

The French idiom filer un mauvais coton translates literally to “to spin a bad threat”. Of course “coton” really means cotton but translates loosely here to threat.

A French-to-French definition of the expression is “se laisser aller”, which means to let oneself go. Here are some more translation of filer un mauvais coton:

  • to be heading for trouble
  • to be going downhill
  • to be in a bad way
  • to be going to pot

Here’s an example sentence:

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  • Il reste isolé dans on appartement depuis tres longtemps. Il ne mange pas bien et il ne fréquent plus ses amis. Il file un mauvais coton. He’s been isolated in his apartment for a very long time. He isn’t eating well and no longer sees his friends. He’s going downhill.

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