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tuer la poule aux œufs d’or

The French expression “tuer la poule aux œufs d’or” translates directly to “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs”. The expression comes from a Jean de La Fontaine fable from the 19th century called “The Hen with the Golden Eggs“.

French explanation on suggest that “tuer la poule aux œufs d’or” means to deprive oneself of profits in the long term in order to satisfy short-term needs. The expression is used in situations where one is greedy and impatient, acting in the short term and ignoring long-term needs.

Examples of this idiom often apply to the misuse of natural resources.

par example:

  • En construisant des maisons neuves au bord du lac on risque de tuer la poule aux oeufs d’or, car les bénéfices enrichiront les investisseur mais l’environment natural risquera d’être détruit. By building houses on the lakefront there is a rink of killing the goose that lay the golden eggs, because the profits will make the investors rich but the natural environment risks getting destroyed.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language learner and speaks over seven 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 lessons. When not teaching or writing his French Word of the Day lessons, David enjoys his time skiing, hiking and mountain biking in Victor, Idaho.

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