Curious French expression N°13 : jeter un coup d’oeil

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What does this curious French expression mean ? Here is one popular French expression that one can uses everyday : jeter un coup d’oeil ! 👁

Jeter un coup d'oeil
Jeter un coup d’oeil

Jeter un coup d’oeil meaning

This is one French expression which is very easy to use in everyday conversation. Now what do you think is the signification of this popular French expression in English: let’s have a look at the picture :

Some owl looking with one eye only 🦉
She is glancing !

Three French words :
 “jeter” = to throw
“un coup” = a blow
“d’oeil” = eye ?!?

It literally means “to throw a blow of eye” ?!?

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

Jeter un coup d’oeil Origin

jeter un coup d’oeil Origin

There is no known origin for this expression. 😕

We can notice that this expression is also used as a shorter version

Jeter un oeil

To throw an eye

The verb ‘jeter’ which means to throw associated with the word ‘coup’ which means a blow gives the indications that this is a brief action. Thus ‘jeter un coup d’oeil’ means to do something quickly. In this French idiom, ‘l’oeil’ is the ‘eye’ so it means to have a quick look !

Jeter un coup d’oeil Translation in English

I think that ‘jeter un oeil’ could be translated as

To have a look at 

To have a quick peep at 

To throw an eye at

To glance at

Jeter un coup d’oeil

Jeter un coup d’oeil French examples

Jeter un coup d'oeil
Jeter un oeil French examples

Here are some examples of this French expression : jeter un coup d’oeil

Je n’arrive pas à réparer cette machine. Laisse-moi y jeter un coup d’oeil !

I can’t fix this machine. Let me have a look !

Ce magasin a l’air bien. On devrait y jeter un oeil !

This shop looks good. We should have a look !

Jeter un coup d’oeil French synonyms

Jeter un coup d'oeil French synonyms
Jeter un coup d’oeil French synonyms

Here are a few synonyms in French of this popular French expression :




Synonyms of ‘jeter un coup d’oeil’

Jeter un coup d’oeil Quote

Here is a quote in a French book :

Un homme se tenait près de lui. Machinalement Bertrand lui jeta un coup d’oeil. L’homme le regardait également

source : 1998. Trente ans de sursis

Jeter un coup d’oeil ‘à’ or ‘sur’

Both prepositions ‘à’ or ‘sur’ can be used after ‘jeter un coup d’oeil’, for example :

Je jette un coup d’oeil à la fenêtre. I am looking at the window.

Je jette un coup d’oeil sur le bébé. I am having a look at the baby.

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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