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French Idiom: Tomber Dans Les Pommes (To Faint)

French Idiom: Tomber Dans Les Pommes (To Faint)

The French idiom tomber dans les pommes translates literally to “to fall in the apples” and means “to faint” or “to pass out”. The verb tomber meaning “to fall” and pomme means apple. French-to-French definitions are s’évanouir and s’effondrer.

tomber dans les pommes

tombay dahn lay pohm – to faint

Tomber dans les pommes = to faint, to pass out

The origins of this expression are unclear. According to, the expression first appeared in 1889, with pomme possibly being related to se pâmer, which means”to faint”.

The expression may also be related to the French author, George Sand’s line être dans les pommes cuites (to be in cooked apples), meaning a state of advanced fatigue.

Here are some example sentences:

Pierre ne peut pas supporter la vue du sang et a chaque fois qu’il en voit il tombe dans les pommes.

Pierre can’t stand the sight of blood and each time he sees it he faints.

Je n’aime pas écouter les détails médicaux et quand je les entends je tombe dans les pommes.

I don’t like listening to medical details and when I hear them I pass out.

Here are some related expressions with pomme (apple):

  • C’est pour ma pomme. I got this. It’s my treat.
  • être dans les pommes. To be out cold, unconscious.

Félicitations! Congratulations! You now know the expression tomber dans les pommes. Now check out our post on the expression être dans la lune (to have you head in the clouds).

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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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