le torchon brûle

The French expression “le torchon brûle” translates literally “the torch burns”. In modern French “torchon”means cloth or dishcloth. However, in old French it means torch. Here’s the meaning of the expression:

  • there is conflict

According to a French definition on expressio.fr, the expression translates to “there is deep disagreement” or “the atmosphere is in dispute”.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Aux États-Unis le torchon brûle entre le Parti démocrate et parti républicain: les gens commencent à s’affronter violemment dans les rues. There is deep conflict between the democratic and republican parties in the United States. People are starting to violently confront each other in the streets.

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