Fatty French expression N°12 : faire la grasse matinée !

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This is one expression for the one who likes to stay in bed in the morning : new French idiom : faire la grasse matinée ! 😴

faire la grasse matinée
Faire la grasse matinée image

Faire la grasse matinée meaning

This one French expression I love and when you find out what it means I am sure you’ll love it too 😂 Now what do you think is the signification of this popular French expression in English: let’s have a look at the picture :

Some fat cat sleeping 😸
The sun is shining so it must be daytime already ! 🌞

Two French words :
 “faire” = to do
 “grasse matinée” = fat morning ?!?

It literally means “to have a fat morning” ?!?

To understand this popular French idiom, let’s have a look at its origin

Faire la grasse matinée origin

Faire la grasse matinée origin
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

At the beginning of the 16th century, it was said “dormir la grasse matinée ” = to sleep a fat morning.

The term ‘fat’ can be understood here as associated with a soft and creamy thing, as can be a bed in which one can bask for a long time with pleasure.

But it can also come from the Latin crassus or “thick”, to designate a morning “thicker” than the others because it is prolonged.

This is one of this morning when you stay in bed late, for example on Sunday, you do not need to be sleeping but there is no hurry to get up anyway ! Your mantra is definitely not “The early bird catches the worm” 😂

Faire la grasse matinée translation in English

Faire la grasse matinée translation in English
Faire la grasse matinée translation in English

I think a suitable translation in English for this popular and well-deserved French expression is :

To have a lie in

Faire la grasse matinée

Faire la grasse matinée French examples

Here are a few examples when using “faire la grasse matinée” would come handy :

J’aime faire la grasse matinée

I like sleeping in

Demain, tu ne travailles pas donc tu peux faire la grasse matinée.

Tomorrow you are not working so you can sleep in

Faire la grasse matinée synonyms in French

Faire la grasse matinée synonyms in French

First of all to understand possible alternatives to this popular French expression ‘Faire la grasse matinée’ we could have a look at all the variations of the verb to sleep.

What are the synonyms of “sleeping in” in French

Faire la grasse matinée synonyms

Dormir = to sleep
Buller = to chill
Musarder = to relax
Garder les pieds en éventail = keep your toes apart = feet up

However, my all time favourite French expression which means not to do anything and possibly stay in bed is :


being lazy, not doing much, staying in bed

And my favourite Belgian character who is a master in the art of ‘flemmarder’ is of course Gaston Lagaffe, who I introduced to you sometimes earlier when I discussed this other popular French expression J’ai la flemme.

Flemmarder illustration with Gaston Lagaffe

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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Guillemette alias Mademoiselle Guiga

Such a great expression to know for anyone wanting to nail the every-day French expressions! I used to love “Faire la grasse matinée”, now it is more about “flemmarder” on the weekends! 😉
This is really nice to understand the background of the expression to understand it better and memorize it! Thank you Lara!

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