la cinquième roue du carrosse

Hairy

Member
English-France
Hello there everyone,
I came across this expression in a text in which, after many organization problems in a company, a manager is relieved to be at last allowed a certain amount of autonomy in his work.
"je ne suis plus la cinquième roue du carrosse"
I like this expression very much, it means that at last the manager feels he has some authority, that he is allowed to make decisions...that he is not just an extra or a bystander (that is, if I'm not mistaken)
I do not however know of an english equivalent or if there is one.
Thanks for any suggestions
 
  • mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    "fifth wheel" in English as well.

    We usually say "to feel like a fifth wheel" rather than "to be a fifth wheel" though.
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    The OED shows it used in English (BE) since 1631. (First citation is a Thomas Dekker play called Match Me In London.)

    A citation from the 1960s does give "the fifth wheel of the coach" so perhaps that's the common BE form?
     

    Hairy

    Member
    English-France
    Cheers, mate.
    lol for brutal ! It's like "cool", "wicked", "ace" but nobody except old farts like me use it anymore !
     

    3szilliox

    Member
    FRANCE, Français
    Alors est-ce que 'feel like the fifth wheel' est une expression vulgaire en anglais ? ou ça peut être écrit dans un exposé ?
    et est-ce qu'il vaut mieu ecrire 'feel like the fifth wheel' ou '...the fifth wheel of the coach' ?

    merci !
     
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