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rester le bec dans l’eau

The French expression “rester le bec dans l’eau” translates literally to “to stay with the mouth in the water”.

English meanings:

  • to be left high and dry
  • to be left in the lurch

French meanings:

  • déçu après avoir espéré quelque chosedisappointed after having had hoped for something
  • qui n’a plus rien not having anything anymore

Example sentence:

Au dernier moment. l’hôtel a annuel ma réservation et je me suis trouvé le bec dans l’eau. The hotel cancelled my reservation at the last minute and I was left high and dry.


  • être en planto be left high and dry
  • planter quelqu’unto leave somebody high and dry
  • laisser quelqu’un se débrouiller tout seul – to leave somebody in the lurch

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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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