manger de la vache enragée

“Manger de la vache enragée” is a fun French idiom that literally means “to eat rabit cow”. The expression has the following meanings:

  • to go through hard times
  • to go through a very rough time
  • to have trouble making ends meet
  • to live hand to mouth

The expression dates from the beginning of the 18th century where it’s said that when people were so poor they had to eat the meat of sickened cows. French-to-French definitions include the following:

  • vivre dans la misère to live in misery.

example sentence:

  • Avant de gravir les échelons, il a manger de la vache enragee pendant dès années. Before climbing the corporate ladder, he went through hard times for years.

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