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la croix et la bannière

The French expression “la croix et la bannière” translates literally to “the cross and the banner”.

English meanings:

  • a tall order
  • an uphill struggle

French meanings:

  • c’est très difficileit’s very difficult

In history, it was a tall order to get everybody organized with dignitaries and clergy walking behind the cross and banners.

  • Mon propriétaire est vraiment tres radin et obstiné. C’est la croix et la bannière pour faire venir un plombier quand on a un problème dans la salle de bains. My landlord is really stingy and stubborn. It’s really a tall order to get a plumber to come when we have a problem in the bathroom.


  • un défi de taille – Lit: A challenge of size
  • pas une mince affaire – Lit: Not a small matter
  • un challenge A challenge (anglicism)

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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