rouge comme un bœuf écorché

  • whims

    Senior Member
    french (France)
    I have never heard that ! We say "rouge comme une tomate" but it is quite nice. It is used when someone is shy or breathless.
    "rouge comme un boeuf écorché" seems stronger. Probably a deeper red but also probably used for other situation, more ... weird ?

    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    It sounds rather bloody to me - as (blood)red as a cow (boeuf) that's (just been) skinned - would seem to signify something more awful than just mere embarrassment. Do you have any idea of where it comes from?


    It was in a text book on a chapter about using comparisons, but the source was not given, nor was the translation. It seemed weird to me... I cannot imagine feeling red like a skinned cow or what that would metaphorically represent?!


    Senior Member
    France French
    Ecorché évoque pour moi le taureau piqué lors d'une ( berk) corrida.
    Donc un sentiment de colère ( livid)
    Ecorché : just a scratch not skinned .
    EG je me suis écorché les genoux.


    What about incarnadine? I find that because of its construction, it has this flesh-and-blood feel to it which basically sums up the metaphor you're trying to translate.

    Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
    Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
    The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
    Making the green one red.


    En tout cas, rouge comme "un boeuf écorché" m'évoque clairement le tableau éponyme de Rembrandt. Peut être que je me mets le doigt dans l'oeil, hein, mais pour moi c'est une référence explicite. C'est un rouge rosé, dans la veine réaliste des natures morte... D'après le Collins English Dictionary, "incarnadine" en anglais veut dire "of a pinkish or reddish colour similar to that of flesh or blood", donc ca me semble la traduction la plus adaptée.

    Parce que je rattache cette image au tableau de Rembrandt, et parce que "incarnadine" inclut ce reflet rosé, je préfère cette traduction à crimson red, qui pourtant se rattache assez bien au genre sanguinaire...
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    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    The image seems a bit too violent to evoke shame.
    Makes me rather think of a rush of blood to the head, either after a violent effort or out of anger.

    The metaphor is quite easy to picture, but does not seem like a common expression to me.

    I would rather translate it directly: "red as a skinned ox" or something like that.
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    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'd prefer flayed, I think; and LeChatNoir's ox sounds better than cow. They're slightly less familiar.
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