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sur les chapeaux de roues

The French expression “sur les chapeaux de roues” translates directly to “on the hub caps”.

English meanings:

  • at top speed
  • at full throttle

French meanings:

  • sans pause, à fond – without taking a break, to the max
  • à grande vitesse – Lit: at big speed

Example sentence:

  • Matin conduisait sur les chapeaux de rues quand il s’est fait arrêter par la police. Martin was driving at top speed when he got stopped by the police.

Synonyms for “at top speed”:

  • à tombeau ouvert – Lit: at an open tomb
  • à fond la caisse – Lit: the box to the max (maximum)
  • à toute berzingue – Lit: at all high ball

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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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