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il n’y pas de quoi fouetter un chat

The French expression “il n’y pas de quoi fouetter un chat” translates directly to “there’s nothing to whip the cat about”.

English meanings:

  • there’s nothing to get worked up about
  • it’s only trifle
  • it’s nothing to make a fuss about

French meanings:

  • ce n’est pas si graveit’s not such a big deal
  • avoir d’autres choses à faire – to have other things to do

Example sentence:

  • Hier j’ai oublié de faire la vaisselle et mon colocataire m’a grondé. Je lui ai dit «Ecoute, il n’y pas de quoi fouetter un chat!» Yesterday I forgot to do the dishes and my roommate scolded me. I told him, “Listen, there’s nothing to get worked up about!

Synonyms and related language:

  • avoir d’autres chats à fouetterhave better things to do, other fish to fry
  • être énervé to be worked up
  • être sur les nerfs – to be worked up

more French expressions

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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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