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mettre quelqu’un en boîte

“Mettre quelqu’un en boîte” is a fun little French expression that translates literally to “to put somebody in a can”. The word “boîte” can translate to both can and box. Here are several English meanings:

  • to make fun of somebody
  • to pull somebody’s leg
  • to josh somebody
  • to have a good laugh at somebody offers a very simple definition in French: “to make fun of somebody, particularly his or her naivety and gullibility.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Je crois tous ce qu’on me raconte. Je suis très naïf. On me met en boite tout le temps. I believe everything people tell me. I’m very gullible. People pull my leg all the time.

There lots of synonymous verbs and expressions:

  • se payer la tete de qqn – Literally to buy yourself somebody’s head
  • taquiner to tease
  • se moquer de qqnto tease somebody
  • faire marcher qqnto tease somebody

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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