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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. Expressio.fr 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.

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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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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