Arme fatale

°° Cocotte °°

Senior Member
French (France)
Bonjour !

J'aimerais dire de manière plus ou moins ironique que E. a sorti son "arme fatale", c'est-à-dire qu'elle a donné un argument qu'elle savait convainquant pour une personne précise.

"She took out her fatal weapon" est la seule chose à laquelle j'ai pu penser...

Merci d'avance pour votre aide :)
 
  • mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    "Lethal weapon" would not make sense in this context, sorry.

    "She brought out her secret weapon."

    To get away from that image, though, English also has the word "clincher."
     

    °° Cocotte °°

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Er... Actually, how would I exactly use it in that context ?
    And is one of the solution better to be used orally, for an exam for instance :rolleyes: ?
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    Although I like both 'secret weapon' and 'ace in the hole', do these phrases really convey the idea that this argument will put an end to the debate, in the same way as 'fatale' does?
    How about 'her secret deadly weapon'?
     

    °° Cocotte °°

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Do you think one of the suggestions (secret weapon and ace in the hole) could be said more ironically than the other ?

    And would what would I say with "ace..." : "she brought up her ace in the hole" ? "She brought out her ace up her sleeve" ?

    I'm not sure of the constructions at all...
     

    Teafrog

    Senior Member
    UK English (& rusty French…)
    I'm not 100% sure, as usually you refer to someone as "having an ace in the hole" or "an ace up the sleeve", and then specify what it is.

    I would therefore say "she had an ace up a sleeve, the proof in writing that her argument was irrefutably correct". It's long-winded, but I don't think you can say directly that "She brought out her ace up her sleeve", imo.

    Apart from anything, I wouldn't use "she brought up…" as it could also mean she was sick (brought up her food… :p).

    I personally prefer "secret lethal weapon", as it has a sense of irony and fun if you add, say, a choice adjective or two, e.g. "secret feminine lethal weapon", "secret kill-all lethal weapon", etc. ;) It's just a wild idea…
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    To answer MoonPalace, yes I think any of these gives the impression that what they refer to will end the debate, but you're right they don't guarantee it.

    The "in the hole" in "ace in the hole" implies, in stud poker, that the ace has been dealt face-down: I know I'm holding an ace but the people I'm playing against do not.

    Of course once you play the card it's no longer "in the hole" so you simply say "She played her ace" or "She played her ace card."

    This brings us to gliamo's fine suggestion of "played her trump card."

    The trump card is the card that bests any other card in a given game; the ace is the trump card in most poker games, but certainly not all games.

    So "She played her trump card" is probably your best bet. It's easily understood and it contains the idea of definite victory.
     
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