bouffer ses doigts


English- Ireland
Belgian singer-songwriter Stromae makes a reference in his song Papaoutai to 'bouffer nos doigts'. Does this have some idiomatic meaning that is escaping me?
  • Hello,

    This line in the lyrics was also very intriguing to me.
    After checking the lyrics, I now understand this as referring to kids having been sucking their thumb for such a long time (waiting for their dad) that they have had enough time to - literally - eat their own fingers - all of them!

    I would not promise I'm right here, but that's how I understand this.
    Bouffer ses doigts, which literally translates to Gobble your fingers, refers to being hungry and left with nothing to eat (in the context of Stromae's song).

    In other contexts, il s'en bouffe les doigts has other meanings, referring to someone who made a bad choice: Il a été violent avec toi, maintenant il s'en bouffe les doigts!
    The lyrics are the following:
    Faut l'sucer d'son pouce ou quoi ?
    Dites-nous où c'est caché, ça doit
    Faire au moins mille fois qu'on a, bouffé nos doigts

    Therefore I also think that it means that you sucked so much your thumb that you end up eating all fingers.