Unmissable French expression N°28 : casser les pieds

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Here is an extremely popular and useful French expression which will break your leg : casser les pieds! 👌

être casse pied

Etre casse pied Meaning in English

Etre casse pied

Etre casse pied is a very popular French expression but what is “Etre casse pied” ?

As depicted on the picture above, “Etre casse pied” has in fact two meanings:

  1. we are bored to death.
  2. We are very annoyed.

It literally means “to be a feet breaker” 😂. It is widely used in everyday language👌

Etre casse pied is informal, and best suited for informal situations. It can also be used as an adjective : Tu es casse pied! You are a feet breaker ! 🔨

Let’s check out the origin of this peculiar French expression

Etre casse pied Origin

être casse pied
Etre casse pied

From the beginning of the 12th century the alliance of the verb ‘casser’ = ‘to break’ with an organ came about, but it was not until the mid-15th century that the idea of ​​annoying a person was added. At the end of the 19th century, the expression “breaking your ears” appeared to become “breaking your feet” while always keeping the notion of disturbance.

«Combien veux-tu pour ton affaire ? – Ce n’est pas à vendre. – Tu me casses les pieds.»

How much do you want for your business? It is not for sale. You are getting on my nerves.

Etre casse pied Translation in English

A suitable translation of ‘Etre casse pied’ in English would be ;

‘to drive someone nuts’!

casser les pieds

Please note that there are several ways of using that expression:

  1. Tu es casse pieds. You are a feet breaker
  2. Tu me casses les pieds. You are breaking my feet

Etre casse pied French example

« OK Tu me casses les pieds! Je vais le dire à maman »

OK you are annoying me. I will tell mum.

Emile, tais toi, tu ne vas pas recommencer à nous casser les pieds.

Be quiet Emile. You won’t start again to get on our nerves
Ils sont payés pour casser les pieds aux braves gens ! They are paid to annoy decent people.

Etre casse pied alternatives in French

Casse pied has evolved to other part of the human anatomy over time, I will leave it to your imagination ! To illustrate this, here is my favourite character: ‘Captain Haddock’ from Tintin. I am Belgian you know !


Synonyms of ‘to annoy’

casser les oreilles à

casser les couilles à
faire chier
Casser les pieds
pomper l'air
Pomper l’air

Synonyms of ‘to bore’

pomper l’air à

faire chier
Etre casse pied

Etre casse pied Illustration in music

Here is a song by Richard Gotainer. I enjoyed listening to his songs when I was a child I found him very amusing.

Etre casse pied

Pourquoi faut des patins, dans la salle à manger ?
Pourquoi absolument, des housses sur les fauteuils ?
Pourquoi, tous les mardis, y’a des endives braisées,
Et tous les vendredis, de la soupe au cerfeuil ?

Pourquoi t’évertues-tu à faire des confitures ?
Toujours deux fois trop cuites ou trois fois trop sucrées.
Pourquoi n’a t’on jamais des vrais sacs à ordures,
Pourquoi toujours se trimballer ces vieux pochons tout crevés ?

https://fbac38bc83914b72258cd80d97334940.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlPourquoi, maman, faut-il se taire pendant la météo,
si c’est pour dire après, qu’ils n’y connaissent rien ?
Pourquoi, quand y marchent plus, maman, garder les vieux stylos ?
Pourquoi les cabinets, t’appelles ça le p’tit coin ?

Refrain :
Maman, ma p’tite maman, j’pourrai jamais t’changer.
J’t’adore, ma p’tite maman, mais tu me casses les… hum… pieds.

Pourquoi, tous les dimanches, au moment du café,
tu parles pendant des heures, tout en tripotant des miettes ?

Paroles de Richard GOTAINER, Eric KRISTY
Musique de Etienne PERRUCHON

Why do you need skates in the dining room?
Why absolutely, covers on the armchairs?
Why, every Tuesday, there are braised endives,
And every Friday, chervil soup?

Why are you trying to make jams?
Always twice overcooked or three times too sweet.
Why do we never have real garbage bags,
Why always lug around those old, punctured pouches?

Why, mom, do we have to be silent during the weather,
if it is to say afterwards, that they know nothing about it?
Why, when no longer walk there, mom, keep the old pens?
Why do you call the cabinets le p’tit coin?

Chorus :
Mom, my little mom, I will never be able to change you.
I adore you, my little mother, but you break my … um … feet.

Why, every Sunday, at coffee time,
you talk for hours, fiddling with crumbs?

Voilà, this was today’s French idiom in English, I hope you liked it. Click here to find out about the challenge of 50 French idioms in English

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And I’ll see you next time for more French idioms in English ! 

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Machiko et Laurent
3 years ago

Un super article permettant de voir les correspondances entre langues sur une expression tellement imagée 🙂 merci beaucoup Lara

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