to me stout is fort (femme forte)Je dirais que quelqu'un bien foutu est "stout", which could mean anything from "fit" (musclé) to slightly "corpulent" (avoir de l'embonpoint). I think it's a bit up to the speaker on how they describe themselves/others (self-image/perception of attractiveness...).
In view of the "foutu", the Americanism, built like a brick shithouse may be most appropriate. It is an exclamation of admiration and not at all pejorative. Bob Hope describes Dorothy Lamour in this way in "The Road to Bali" but changes shithouse to pagoda to escape the censor, and add some local colour.
Edit: Or even that thread and the following one too.From the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang we learn that: (a) the phrase and its euphemistic variants date back at least to 1903; (b) said variants replace "shithouse" with switch shanty, schoolhouse, slaughterhouse, or backhouse, among others; and (c) all were originally--and more sensibly--applied to men of solid or powerful build. [...]
And yet back when I was in the United States I remember having heard the expression as men's talk, applied to a woman (while she was out) as a compliment ("she's built like a brick shithouse", meaning, I presume, "elle est bien foutue/roulée").We (americans) would never say someone is "built like a brick shithouse"
Sorry, Sarah, I completely disagree on that. I have often heard (and on occasion, confess to using!) built like a brick shithouse. It's far from unusual, at least in the eastern US where I live and grew up. See here.Frankly this is incorrect. We would never say someone is "built like a brick shithouse". The expression is "like a brick house".
If you went anywhere in the US and said that to someone, you would see some very large eyeballs and at the very least some stiffled laughter.
Well, nobody's perfect!wildan, I would never have thought that of you!
Nope you are wrong, I have lived on both coasts and in the midwest. The expression is "like a brick house" not "a brick shithouse". However if you would like to say "brick shithouse", I suggest you go right ahead!
Yes, what's great is that at no point did anyone explain what "bien foutu" is supposed to mean!I still don't clearly understand bien foutu,
I think "fit, as in a bit buff" seems to be a good equivalent.I still don't clearly understand bien foutu, does it mean muscly with a large build (as in built like a tank) or does it mean large/fat, as in somewhat bigger than "pleasingly plump"?
Though someone earlier did mention it just meant fit, as in a bit buff?
Actually the term wasused by Americans in reference to women (other countries only use it in reference to men with a lot of muscles). Back when it was made a brick s***house was a prettier alternative to the normal wooden ones. They also were built better than was necessary. So, when used meant that the girl was prettier than other women and built better than was necessary.Yikes, there is a very serious mistake in this translation! We (americans) would never say someone is "built like a brick shithouse". That would be very disgusting and hilarious to us if soemone said that.
However, there is an expression "She's a brick house" (not a shithouse!) that comes from a 1970's funk song which means she is voluptuous. Everyone knows this song and the expression, but no one would actually use this expression in speaking today.