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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:

  • 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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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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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