des qu'en-dira-t-on....quatre cent coups


Senior Member
USA English
I'm having a little trouble with this sentence:

Madame Sergent, insoucieuse des qu'en-dira-t-on, continue a cherir sa petite Aimee pendant que les eleves font les quatre cents coups, pourquoi papa a quitte ses limaces, tout ca, tout ca !

I think Madame might be the head of a school. Here is my try;

Madame S, the carefree gossip, continues to cherish her little beloved (Aimee) while the students make their 4 hundred hits??? because father has taken away her slugs, all that, all that !

Thanks for any ideas.
  • Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Yes, Max, it does.
    Faire les quatre-cents coups means: to lead a wild life. Or just not to behave in this case. ;)


    Senior Member
    US & Canada, English
    Thank you both. That helps me a lot. Does quatre cents coups mean anything besides four hundred hits or strokes?
    "Quatre cent coups" is an idiomatic phrase in French. My dictionary says that "faire les quatre cent coups" means "to sow one's wild oats"...


    Senior Member
    french France
    We need context to translate: pourquoi papa a quitté ses limaces
    literally : pop left his slugs
    "limace" in French also means "slowcoach, slowpoke"


    Senior Member
    USA English
    "To lead a wild life", misbehave, and "sow one's wild oats" all make sense here. So thanks for that.
    Unfortunately there is no more context in this part of the book to help with "papa a quitte' ses limaces". However, I am thinking maybe limaces could suggest boyfriends. Could that be possible? Perhaps I will fing out in a later chapter.
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