1. Emmanue11e Senior Member

    Paris
    American English - Midwest
    -- Mais ce n'est pas lui qui a été condamné par la justice.
    --C'est vrai. Et il ne sera jamais non plus. Il n'est pas du genre à lever des lapins.

    It sounds negative from the context. To say controversial things?
     
  2. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    Not at all, "lever un lapin" is a colloquial expression meaning : to uncover something, to raise a problem. Usual expression : "soulever un problème". Here it means that the character was actually guilty but someone was declared guilty instead, and your character isn't the one who's going to raise the issue.
    How would you say that in colloquiall English ?
     
  3. Emmanue11e Senior Member

    Paris
    American English - Midwest
    To dig up dirt is to find out stuff.
     
  4. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    I'm not sure it's really equivalent :
    1) the connotation seems different between "dirt" and "lapin". The expression comes from hunting when you make a rabbit come out. By the way, you can also say "lever un lièvre" ("lièvre" = hare)
    2) what's more important is that you can "lever un lapin" unexpectedly. You can say or do something that raises a problem although it wasn't your intention. Whereas I think you can only dig up dirt intentionnaly.

    To dig up dirt would rather be : "fouiller la merde" - slang.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  5. misterk Moderator

    Boston
    English-American
    to raise a red flag ?
     
  6. akaAJ Senior Member

    New York
    American English, Yiddish
    I think and old version is "to start hares" (literally, to frighten them out of their dens), meaning "to open questions" through "start some rumors to see who reacts and how".
     
  7. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    I thought it meant : to give alarm, which would be in French : "tirer la sonnette/le signal d'alarme". Am I wrong ?

    It's the exact translation of "lever un lièvre". Funny how languages are similar sometimes !
    But "lever un lapin/lièvre" is very common in France and if I get you right "to start hares" is old-fashioned.
     
  8. misterk Moderator

    Boston
    English-American
    to raise a red flag is used quite generally (US) to mean to signal a problem. E.g., "I hate to rise a red flag, but haven't we overlooked a problem in the Canadian market?"

    But it may not be the right translation here...
     
  9. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    Thanks Misterk. :)
    After your explanation, I think it can work as a translation sometimes but not always.
     
  10. Emmanue11e Senior Member

    Paris
    American English - Midwest
    If someone said "to start hares" to me, I'd have no idea what they were talking about.
     
  11. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    Well, well, it seems we're stuck... :(
     
  12. paulfg42 Senior Member

    UK
    English - UK
    stir things up

    ripple the waters
     
  13. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)

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