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tirer les vers du nez à quelqu’un

The French expression “tirer les vers du nez à quelqu’un” translates literally to “to pull the worms out of somebody’s nose”. English meanings include:

  • to worm information out of somebody
  • to get somebody to talk

A French meaning is: “extirper des informations à quelqu’un” or to drag out or extract information from somebody. In essence, the expression means to successfully get somebody to talk when they’re holding onto information that they don’t want to divulge.

Raconte-moi ce qui s’est passé? Est-ce que je dois te tirer les vers du nez? Tell me what happened! Do I have to worm the information out of you?

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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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