As the heatwave has arrived, here are seven French expressions you may hear or find useful…
1. Soleil de plomb (literally sun of lead)
It means it is really hot – the sun is as heavy as lead. The English equivalent might be ‘blazing sun’.
2. Cagnard (sun)
This is a colloquial term for sun. You often hear it said that someone or something is ‘en plein cagnard’, meaning they are in direct sun.
3. Ça tape (it hits)
This means that the heat is very strong – it literally hits you.
4. Être en nage (to be in swimming mode)
This means to be very sweaty. The expression used to be être à nage but has evolved to en nage – referring to the fact that swimming, obviously, makes you wet.
5. Faire la crêpe au soleil (to make the crepe)
This means to lay in the sun in order to tan. It is often used when you go to the beach.
6. Se (faire) dorer la pilule (to brown one’s pill)
Another expression to mean to stay in the sun in order to tan. The original expression is dorer la pilule which meant to sugar the pill. Then the expression under its pronominal form appeared in the 20th century and meant to believe in something that does not exist. The meaning changed for basking in the sun in the eighties. Some claim that it is a mix between dorer la pilule and se dorer au soleil (to tan).
7. L’été indien (Indian summer)
Just as in English, this is used to describe a warm spell of weather in autumn, especially in October and November.