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sentir le lapin

The French expression “sentir le lapin” translates literally to “to smell the rabbit”.

English meaning:

  • to have one foot in the grave

French meaning:

  • être près de la fin de la vieto be near the end of life

Example sentence:

  • Sylvain est malade depuis très longtemps et il ne va pas bien : ça sent le lapin. Sylvain has been sick for a very long time and he’s not going well. He has one foot in the grave.

Related expression:

  • avoir un pied dans la tombe – Literally: to have one foot in the grave

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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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