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tirer sur l’ambulance

The French expression “tirer sur l’ambulance” translates literally to “to shoot at the ambulance”. English meanings or equivalent idioms include:

  • to throw somebody under the bus
  • to kick somebody when they’re down
  • to pour water on a drowning man
  • to flog a dead horse

French meanings on translate to “to oppress somebody when they’re in a desperate situation and “to set upon somebody when their fate is already challenged”.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • On doit soutenir ceux qui travaille pour lutter contre le racisme, pas tirer sur l’ambulance. We have to support those who are fighting racism, now kick them when they’re down.

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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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