nourrir son canari


New Member
Hi there, :)

I'm translating this expression; "tu passes huit heures dans ton bureau à nourrir ton canari" Is nourrir ton canari an expression or can it be translated literally? I've been searching and haven't been able to find anything but just wanted to be sure as it seems a bit of a strange expression haha

Thank you so much! :)
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  • tartopom

    Senior Member
    Welcome to WR, Constanzia.

    Indeed I think it funny too. Well I guess the idea of feeding a canari for 8 hours -every day (?)- maybe means you don't work hard. Or what you do is useless.


    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    As for the expression 'nourrir ton canari' is the idea that you are pursuing some sort of activity, which you enjoy almost passionately, but which other (dare I say 'normal'?) people would find bizarre?

    For example, there are those people who get a kick out of trainspotting and spend hours on platforms taking pictures of trains and meticulously logging their numbers etc. But to lesser mortals like me, this sort of activity is obsessive and even (whisper it) deadly boring. Doubtless, such 'anoraks' would find some of my activities equally tiresome and strange.

    Ah well, a chaqu'un son gout ! As the French don't say. ( = to each one his foot disease / stickiness ... :) )
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    Senior Member
    A friend of mine when he has to go back home - even at 3am- he's like 'Ah, faut que j'y aille, j'ai piscine'. Or 'Ah, je dois y aller, faut que je nourrisse le canari.' You must know he has no pets. Then I guess there must be a joke about that bird.


    Senior Member
    French (France)
    "Je peux pas, j'ai piscine" was a running joke by Laurent Baffie when he co-presented Nulle Part Ailleurs.
    It became an expression to suggest (jokingly... or seriously) that you don't want to do the thing so you're giving an (obviously bad) reason.

    I guess it is a possibility that "nourrir le canari" is derived from the same idea. It's hard to search, you end up with stuff about actually feeding real birds :rolleyes:

    In this case, it would suggest the person has a BS job and does nothing all day... we need more context to figure out.