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se mettre le doigt dans l’oeil

Se mettre le doigt dans l’oeil is a bit of a rough French expression that translates literally to “to put a finger in the eye”. In a bit stronger language and in Canada the idiom is “se fourrer le doigt dans l’oeil”, which means to stuff a finger in the eye. Here are the various meanings of this expression:

  • to be kidding yourself
  • to be barking up the wrong tree
  • to be entirely mistaken

A French-to-French translation is se tromper complètement or to totally mess up.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Ceux qui pensent que le crise sera bientôt fini se mettent le doigt dans l’oeil. C’est loin d’être terminé. Those who think the crisis will soon be over are kidding themselves. The crisis is far from over.

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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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