Skip to Content

Que dalle – Absolutely Nothing

Que dalle – Absolutely Nothing

In today’s lesson we’ll have a look at the fun French slang expresion que dalle, which means “nothing at all”, “absolutely nothing”, “zilch” and “not a darn/damn thing”.

que dalle

que dalle

Que dalle: Slang French expression for nothing at all, zilch, not a darn/damn thing.

Expression origin

There are several theories on the origin of this expression. Que dalle is thought to have from from coa d’ala, meaning “a piece of garlic” or not much at all to eat in the southern French language, Occitan.

Another theory is that que dalle comes from dall, meaning “blind” in Breton, a language of northewestern France. Hence, the expression voir que dalle – to not see anything or “to see like a blind person”.

Example sentences

Notice that for these first two example sentences the grammatical structure is: ne + verb + que dalle.

Tu parles trop vite et je ne pige que dalle.

You’re speaking too fast and I can’t understand a darn thing.

La musique est trop forte et je n’entends que dalle !

The music is too loud and I can’t a damn thing!

The stucture of this sentence is a bit different. Here, “que dalle!” is being used to mean “nothing!” or “zilch!”.

Est-ce que tu as appris quelque chose dans cette leçon ? – Que dalle !

Did you underatnd anything in this lesson? – Zilch!

Conclusion

Et voilà ! Now you know how to use que dalle! Now check out our lesson covering another fun French expression avoir la dalle (to be very hungry).

See all French expression lessons

que dalle

All posts by David Issokson

References

author avatar
David Issokson
David Issokson is a lifelong language learner and speaks over seven 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 lessons. When not teaching or writing his French Word of the Day lessons, David enjoys his time skiing, hiking and mountain biking in Victor, Idaho.

Sharing is caring!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language learner and speaks over seven 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 lessons. When not teaching or writing his French Word of the Day lessons, David enjoys his time skiing, hiking and mountain biking in Victor, Idaho.

See all posts by