Skip to Content

Pisser dans un violon (Waste your breath / talk to a wall)

Pisser dans un violon (Waste your breath / talk to a wall)

French is full of lots of fun and colorful expressions. Today we’ll look at one of my all time favorites: Pisser dans un violon (literal translation: “to piss in a violin”). Meanings of this expression mean “to waste your breath” and “to talk to a wall”. An English equivalent to this expression is “to piss in the wind”.

pisser dans un violon

to waste your breath, piss in the wind

Pisser dans un violon

Pisser dans un violon meaning

The underlying meaning of pisser dans un violon is to do something completely useless. In spoken langauge you might hear “c’est comme si on pissait dans un violon” (Literally: It’s as if you were peeing in a violin).

Example sentences

This first example sentence uses the pronoun on, which has many uses including “we”. This sentence is in the imperfect tense, which is used for describing past actions. This sentence uses the verb essayer which means “to try”.

On essaie de parler à Jacques mais c’est comme si on pissait dans un violon.

We try speaking to Jacques but it’s like talking to a wall.

This sentence uses the construction faire + infinitive, which is used when somebody else is carrying out the action of the verb and is called the causative construction. We touch on this in this lesson.

J’ai essayé de lui faire comprendre la gravité de ces circonstances mais c’est comme si on pissait dans un violon.

I tried to make him understand the seriousness of the circumstances but it’s a waste of breath.

Nous avons expliqué la situation dix fois à Matilde. Autant pisser dans un violon !

We explained the situation ten times to Matilde. It’s like pissing into the wind!

Conclusion

Et voilà ! You know know how to use the expression pisser dans un violon. Now check out our other lessons covering the fun expressions être soupe au lait (to get angy easily) and tomber dans les pommes (to faint).

Pisser dans un violon = to waste your breath, piss in the wind
Pisser dans un violon = to waste your breath, piss in the wind

Sharing is caring!

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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by