Sublime French idiom N°21 ➫ Etre sur son 31 ✰

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This French expression Etre sur son 31 has ‘un je ne sais quoi’ of chic but find out what it means and how it is related to a rich material 💰

Expression Etre sur son 31
Etre sur son 31

Expression Etre sur son 31 Meaning in English

This expression is always called : ‘se mettre sur son 31’ ou ‘se mettre sur son trente et un’, if you write it in full . This is a very popular French expression but what does it mean?

Let’s have a look at the picture, someone smartly dressed in suit with a bow tie who has the ‘wow’ factor ! The number ’31’?!?

Literally it means ‘to put on your 31‘ ? What is the link with being smartly-dressed ? Let’s have a look a the origin of this interesting French idiom

Expression Etre sur son 31 Origin

Etre sur son 31 Origin

D’où vient l’expression ‘se mettre sur son 31’? ➯ Where does this expression come from ?

The first explanation is historical. In Prussia, the soldiers used to receive every “31 of the month” the visit of their military hierarchy. This only happened seven times a year. For the occasion, the soldiers had to clean their barracks from top to bottom and dress to be as beautiful as possible. After this inspection, the soldiers received some money as a reward.


The second explanation is linguistic, because the expression comes from the distortion of the word “trentain”, this sumptuous fabric recognized for its richness. In the Middle Ages, the ‘trentain’ was a sheet made of 30 times a hundred threads. Concretely, those who were dressed in such a fabric wanted to either show their wealth or celebrate a particular event (jour de fête). The expression would therefore appear much later, at least if this hypothesis is correct …

Expression Etre sur son 31 Translation in English

I think that a suitable for this popular French idiom is :

To dress up

être sur son 31

Expression Etre sur son 31 French example

Here is an example of this common French idiom :

‘wow, comme il est beau, il s’est mis sur son 31’

wow, he looks good, he dressed up.

Expression Etre sur son 31 Illustration in music

This song ‘sapé comme jamais’ from ‘Gims‘ is illustrates well this expression because these guys they know how to dress up 😀

Can you recognize the famous French brands of couture ?

‘Sapé comme jamais’ from Gims lyrics in French and English

On casse ta porte, c’est la Gestapo
J’vais t’retrouver, Meugui Columbo
Ça veut vendre des tonnes à la Gustavo
Un café sans sucre, j’en ai plein sur l’dos
Hé ouais, ma puce, la thune rend beau
Ça va faire six ans qu’on met des combos
Je manie les mélos, Waraoui, Warano
Tu te demandes si c’est pas un complot
Haut les mains, haut les mains
Sauf les mecs sapés en Balmain
Balmain, Balmain
Sarouel façon Aladdin
Haut les mains, haut les mains
Sauf les mecs sapés en Balmain
Balmain, Balmain
Sarouel façon Aladdin
Passe avant minuit (Passe avant minuit)
Je vais t’faire vivre un dream (Je vais t’faire vivre un dream)
Avance sur la piste, les yeux sont rivés sur toi
Les habits qui brillent tels Les Mille Et Une Nuits
Paris est vraiment ma-ma-ma-magique
Sapés comme jamais…

Source Musixmatch

We break your door, it’s the Gestapo
I’m going to find you, Meugui Columbo
It wants to sell tons to Gustavo
Coffee without sugar, I’ve got plenty of it on my back
Hey yeah, honey, money makes you beautiful
We’ve been putting together combos for six years
I handle melodies, Waraoui, Warano
You wonder if it’s not a plot
Hands up, hands up
Except the guys undermined in Balmain
Balmain, Balmain
Aladdin-style harem pants
Hands up, hands up
Except the guys undermined in Balmain
Balmain, Balmain
Aladdin-style harem pants
Pass before midnight (Pass before midnight)
I’ll make you live a dream (I’ll make you live a dream)
Walk on the track, eyes are on you
The clothes that shine like The Thousand And One Nights
Paris is really my-my-my-magic
Dressed up like never …

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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