Fantastic French expression N°23 : C’est mon dada

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Here is a popular and cute French expression which takes us back right to our childhood : C’est mon dada ! 🎠

C'est mon dada
C’est mon dada

C’est mon dada Meaning in English

hobbyhorse dada
Hobbyhorse

C’est mon dada is a very popular French expression but what is a dada ?

As depicted on the picture above, a ‘dada’ is in fact a hobby horse.

‘C’est mon dada’ hence means literally ‘it is my hobbyhorse’ in French.

But what does it mean? Let’s have a look at the origin of this very common French expression to find out !

C’est mon dada Origin

Laurence Sterne Voyage sentimental
Laurence sterne – Voyage sentimental

Interestingly, this expression comes from English. It was made fashionable in England by Sterne, a satirical writer, author of several famous works, the most famous of which in France is: Le Voyage sentimental.

Tristam Shandy

The writer uses the term of: Hobby-Horse (dada), which refers to a fixed idea in the first chapters of his novel Tristam Shandy. A book highly philosophical and a witty novel mixed with absurd profanity.

Hobby-Horse is the name of the stick on which a child has fun riding, and by extension a wooden horse serving as a toy. Figuratively, to ride one’s hobby-horse should be translated as ‘enfourcher son dada’ in French, that is to say to pursue a favorite idea without respite or measure.

C’est mon dada Translation in English

A suitable translation of ‘c’est mon dada’ in English would be ‘it is my hobby’ !

C’est mon dada French example

La peinture c’est mon dada !

Painting is my hobby !

C’est mon dada French synonyms

C’est mon cheval de bataille !

It means that is is my battle horse or something that is so dear to me that I fight for it !

C’est mon violon d’Ingres !

‘It is my Ingres’ violin’. Ingres was a painter but he could also play violon ! This is to say that someone has a hobby.

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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