Casser les couilles

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by vegangirl, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. vegangirl Banned

    France french
    J'ai traduit cette phrase en anglais. Vous pouvez corriger les fautes s'il vous plaît ?

    phrase : Kirsten casse les couilles à Meg.
    traduction : Kirsten is buging Meg.
  2. klodaway

    klodaway Senior Member

    "bugging" est bien trop gentil et proprêt pour traduire le niveau de language de "casser les couilles"!

    Eventuellement, je propose "Kirsten is pissing Meg off.", et ça reste encore un peu trop "sage"...
    Il y a sûrement un équivalent qui soit plus imagé, mais rien ne me vient à l'esprit.

  3. Angle O'Phial

    Angle O'Phial Senior Member

    USA English
    Peut-on casser les couilles à une fille (Meg) ? Ça me paraîtrait assez difficile ;).
  4. vanagreg Senior Member

    France, French
    I think the literal translation is said in English: "to break somebody's balls"
  5. vegangirl Banned

    France french
    Merci de m'avoir aidée.
  6. renardor Senior Member

    France, Français
    I swear I heard girls say that!
    (frightening :S )
  7. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member


    Besides that, can 'bollock ache' refer to people, as in 'he/she is a total bollock ache'?
  8. Angle O'Phial

    Angle O'Phial Senior Member

    USA English
    I've never heard bollock ache which isn't surprising since bollock is very BE, balls in AE. You can call someone a ball breaker but that's usually reserved for strong women and is a ruder and more sexist way of calling someone a bitch. Definitely not a friendly insult and usually used in the third person behind the object's back.
  9. vegangirl Banned

    France french
    "Péter les couilles" est un synonyme de "Casser les couilles". Comment se traduit "Péter les couilles" ?
  10. Fedorable New Member

    USA, English
    In America we definitely say, "She was busting her balls."
  11. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    It sounds quite strange to my ears to use this expression for a woman. She was busting his balls--yes (it happens all the time!)

    She was giving her shit/a hard time
    She was ragging on her
  12. Angle O'Phial

    Angle O'Phial Senior Member

    USA English
    Ah, but he was busting his balls (i.e. his own balls) means he was working very very hard, going all out. Needless to say, quite rude, but it can be jocular and is ok in the second person.
  13. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    True. Or busting his ass
  14. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    En français (très) vulgaire : 'se crever le cul'.

    'Je me suis crevé le cul à laver la voiture, et bien sûr maintenant il pleut !!!'

    'Pour rédiger son devoir de philo, il ne s'est pas crevé le cul : il a tout recopié sur internet !'
  15. uilani76 New Member

    USA, English
    As an American girl, I would say:

    "She's really riding my ass (about this)", or
    "She's being (such a / a real) pain in the ass!"

    To say "Kirsten is busting Meg's ass" can also mean that Meg is in big trouble, and Kirsten is the one doling out the discipline. Depends on context.

    To say "she's busting her (own) ass" means she's working really hard, and "she's busting my ass" is close to "busting my balls" (my female friends don't say "balls" for themselves, unless they're just being funny!).
  16. djweaverbeaver Senior Member

    English Atlanta, GA USA
    Hehe, I agree with you. When I was at a French high school for a year, I used to hear girls say that all the time. My host mom used to even say it quite frequently, that is until I questioned her about her lack of balls and why she would say that. I helped her coin the phrase "Tu me romps les ovaires!" :D Feel free to use it ladies; I won't get mad.
  17. obruaux New Member

    "That dog pisses my balls off, for sure!". What do you say of that one?
  18. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Sorry, obruaux, but that combination doesn't mean anything to me.

    What was the French expression you were trying to say?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  19. obruaux New Member

    Hi, in fact in the movie I co-authored, one of the guys is "pissed off" because the dogs stays in his car and he finally pisses on the car seats. So I was wondering about mixing the two "casser les couilles" and "pisser".

    Thanks for your useful advice.
  20. RobertaLynn Senior Member

    US English
    A gender-appropriate translation of "Tu me casse les couilles" for women is:
    "You're getting on my tits!"
    It's vulgar and a bit silly but "casser les couilles" isn't exactly elegant either...
  21. Le Singe

    Le Singe Senior Member

    New York City
    English - American
    "You're getting on my tits"??? hahahaha. really? If I ever heard a woman say that I would laugh my ass off. It sounds so ridiculous. Does anyone actually say this?

    obruaux, as an artist you can do anything you like. mixing "pissing me off" and "breaking my balls" into "pissing my balls off" could be funny in the right context but if you said that seriously you would look quite... comme un imbécile.

    The best gender neutral translation is "You are giving me a hard time!". In french "casser les couilles" and "péter les couilles" are so common that women use them without thinking twice about the original metaphor which refers to testicles. In English though, it sounds strange to hear a woman say that. I feel uncomfortable with the expression anyway due to my memories of the excruciating pain I felt being kicked in the balls once therefore I never use it. It's not something to take lightly.


    Kristen is giving Meg a hard time.

    If anyone even remembers the original phrase at this point! Have a great day!
  22. narasimah New Member

    busting his balls ne corespond qu'a la forme transitive se casser les couilles à qui signifie lutter travailler s'ennuyer pour atteindre un objectif. je choisirais kisten is a pain in the ass to Meg mais je ne pense pas que l'on puisse en faire un présent progressif
  23. Le Singe

    Le Singe Senior Member

    New York City
    English - American
    Dave was a hard worker. He went to work every day and busted his balls for the company. CORRECT.
    Sarah was always insulting Dave at work. Every time he made even a little mistake she would bust his balls. CORRECT.

    In english you can use "busting his balls" reflexively AND transitively. Reflexively it means "works really hard". Transitively it means more like "was a pain in the ass to" like you say above, narasimah, but I would translate it to mean "to make things hard for". When you bust someone's balls it doesn't just mean you are being a pain in the ass, it means you are intentionally making it hard for someone.

    narasimah just said that "busting his balls" is only a good translation for the verb when it has an object "se casser les couilles". This is not true. Also, your use is reflexive, narasimah, not transitive. The original use in this thread was "Kirsten casse les couilles à Meg." which is NOT reflexive.

    Marie casse les couilles à Dave tous les jours. = Marie busts Dave's balls every day. = Marie gives Dave a hard time every day. TRANSITIVE.

    Dave se casse les couilles tous les jours au bulot. = Dave busts his balls every day at work. = Dave works really hard every day at work. RELFEXIVE.

    There are two different meanings to "busting one's balls" depending on how it is used.

    narasimah, je dois être en désaccord avec vous! En anglais "busting his balls" peut vouloir dire les deux sens, le sens transitif ET réflexif!

    BY THE WAY: "breaking his balls" and "busting his balls" both work the same way and are interchangeable, exactly like "casser les couilles" and "péter les couilles". casser = to break. péter = to bust/burst. I prefer "busting his balls": I think it sounds better. In english I think "busting his balls" is more common but in french I believe it is "casser les couilles" which is more common. I am not sure though.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012

Share This Page