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s’attirer les foudres

The French expression “s’attirer les foudres” translates literally to “attract thunderbolts” and can also be seen as “s’attirer foudres de quelqu’un” or to attract thunderbolts from somebody. English meanings include:

  • to provoke an angry response from somebody
  • to incur somebody’s wrath

A French definition on suggests the meaning is to attract negative comments (reproach) or condemnation.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • En rentrant chez elle apres sa permission de 22h00, elle s’est attiré les foudres de ses parents. By coming home after her 10.00pm curfew, she incurred her parents’ wrath (her parents got very angry at her).

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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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