mener quelqu’un à la baguette

The French expression “mener quelqu’un à la baguette” translates literally to “to lead somebody by the baguette”.

English meanings:

  • to rule somebody with an iron fist
  • to keep somebody on a tight leash
  • to keep somebody under your thumb
  • to push around

French meanings:

  • diriger quelqu’un avec autoritéto direct somebody with authority

Example sentence:

  • La cheffe de l’équipe s’appelle Noreen Niu, une femme chinoise exigeante qui mène ses collègues à la baguette. The team’s boss is named Noreen, a demanding Chinese woman who rules with an iron fist.


  • diriger avec une main de fer – Lit: to direct with an iron fist, push around
  • malmener, maltraiter – both verbs, to push around
  • être sous haute surveillance – Lit: to be under high surveillance, to be on a tight leach

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