Skip to Content

Our site has affiliate links. This means that we make a commission when you purchase a product through links on our site. Learn more.

tirer les boulets rouges à quelqu’un

“Tirer les boulets rouges à quelqu’un” is a French expression that translates literally to “to fire red balls at somebody”. English meanings include:

  • to rip into somebody
  • to give somebody both barrels
  • to lay into somebody

The idea here is that when somebody gets very angry at somebody else, he or she fires red-hot cannon balls into them. offers a great French definition: to attack somebody else with violent terms; to rain on somebody with insults and criticism.

Son ancienne patronne lui tirait des boulets rouges sans cesse. Elle a fini par le virer. His ex-boss laid into him non-stop. She ended up firing him.

more French expressions

Sharing is caring!

Affiliate disclosure: Below you will find affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To learn more please visit our full disclosure page. Merci!

Sign up to download your free trial of À Moi Paris a French course which I recommend to my personal students to help with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. After that, upgrade for access to 77 hours of audio lessons.

Read our full review of À Moi Paris and find out why we love it so much!

Are you struggling with French verb conjugations? Then we highly recommend French Today's French Verb Drills course. Get over 28 hours of audio exercises to build reflexes and dramatically improve your French level and confidence.

Read our full review of French Verb Drills and find out why we recommend this course!

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.

See all posts by