sur les bords

mathieu&C

Member
Bilingual - Parisian French/ Miami English
I'm having trouble understanding this sentence:

Il est un peu chochotte sur les bords..

Ma tentative: He's kinda effiminate when you get to know him.

Is " sur les bords " an expression ?

Merci

Moderator's note: several threads have been merged to create this one.
 
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  • AFrenchGuy

    Member
    France, french
    Here is a French joke :

    "- Quand ils sont à la piscine, pourquoi les belges/français/anglais (whatever you want) restent au milieu du bassin ?
    - Parce qu'ils sont un peu cons sur les bords."
     

    Vyriz

    New Member
    English
    Hi,
    We were talking with a friend of mine and he asked me if I knew an idiom to translate "sur les bords".
    Like for example when you say "Elle est un peu maniaque sur les bords"
    Thanks !
     

    Quintis

    Senior Member
    French-Belgium
    Hello,

    I don't know if it is truly an idiom but the character of approaching the fringes remains:

    Her mannerisms sometimes border on obsession.

    I realize the structure of the sentence has to be drastically modified to fit the verb and hence it might not be the most natural translation that comes to mind.

    Hope it helps!
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Around the edges is pretty similar, but you can't use it with very many adjectives; I cannot decide whether I think it's appropriate with crazy. Rough around the edges is the most common, and means a little bit uncultured or uncivilized. Aside from that I don't have any better ideas than Omelette's.

    I think border on is a little different - closer to limite + adjective.
     

    pointvirgule

    Senior Member
    langue française
    Wouldn't She's borderline + adj. do?
    (As for maniaque, it can mean different things, depending on context.)

    Welcome to WR, Vyriz. :)
     
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    Omelette

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think ‘borderline’ is more usually followed by a noun – as in ‘borderline personality disorder’ -rather than an adjective.
    Also that – correct me if I’m wrong – ‘sur les bords’ (especially following ‘un peu’ ) is very often used informally and quite lightly, whereas ‘borderline’ sounds to me more like a clinical assessment.
     

    pointvirgule

    Senior Member
    langue française
    Also that – correct me if I’m wrong – ‘sur les bords’ (especially following ‘un peu’ ) is very often used informally and quite lightly, whereas ‘borderline’ sounds to me more like a clinical assessment.
    It looks to me like borderline is now used in popular speak, witness occurrences of such phrases as This is borderline nuts, he's borderline obsessed, she's borderline devious, etc., seen on the Web. (I'm not saying these are textbook examples, but they show that there is a colloquial usage of borderline out there that matches the register of sur les bords.)

    But I don't want to insist, it was just a suggestion. One can always say, She's a bit of a maniac, and be done with it. :)
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I think borderline can be ok in a casual context, but again, isn't it a lot stronger than sur les bords? (it means approximately the same thing as bordering on.)
     

    pointvirgule

    Senior Member
    langue française
    I think borderline can be ok in a casual context, but again, isn't it a lot stronger than sur les bords? (it means approximately the same thing as bordering on.)
    Hm, you have a point. On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 10 (completely), sur les bords is maybe a 3, and borderline, an 8+?
    Proposition retirée.
     

    Vyriz

    New Member
    English
    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for all of your suggestions, and I'm going to keep "border on" by Quintis !

    Thank you pointvirgule :D
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    [~sigh~ Si j'insiste, suis-je limite soit bordering on ennuyeuse, ou juste ennuyeuse sur les bords soit just a little ?]
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello,

    J'ai une question.

    Dans le même ordre d'idée que "a bit of a maniac", comme pv a suggéré... pourrait-on dire "she's kind of a + noun" ou "she's kind of + adjective"?

    She's kind of a maniac / she's kind of obsessed?

    Perso, si je dis « un peu maniaque sur les bords » ... c'est une litote. En réalité, je trouve que la personne est hyper maniaque. :D
    J'imagine que dans ce cas, borderline pourrait marcher.
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    Hello vyriz, and welcome to the WR Forums!

    I think it's hard to judge which of the many possibilities discussed is right for you, as you have given no context--can you please tell us more what situation you are describing? Otherwise, it becomes a big guessing-game...
     

    ganieda

    Senior Member
    french
    Hi,
    there is an expression in french "sur les bords" it's another way to say a little, for example you could say of someone that he or she is "un peu timbré sur les bords" do you have something similar in english?
    thanks!
     

    temple09

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Hi,

    I was wondering about the necessity of the word "peu" in the quoted sentence. Because "sur les bords" means "un peu" doesn't it?
    I thought one could easily just say "elle est maniaque sur les bords", non? By adding "un peu" does this make it even less of a strong accusation? (Like saying "she's a little bit crazy", where "little" reduces the "bit" even further?
    I hope that makes sense :rolleyes:
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello temple09

    Un peu + adjective + sur les bords is a common expression.

    The Collins dictionary translates it as A little... around the edges.

    So yes, I think you can say that - same as a little - the adding of « un peu » makes it less trong.

    But then just as I replied last year, in my personal vocabulary, it is a litote (saying less to mean more).
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    Un peu + adjective + sur les bords is a common expression. The Collins dictionary translates it as A little... around the edges.
    In English, you would say that if you meant it litterally, ie 'The tablecloth is a little frayed around the edges.'

    Ironically, I would say 'Not half'. 'She isn't half fussy/obsessive (not 'a maniac', which sounds like a psychiatric case). Or if someone says 'She's a bit of a fusspot'. You might answer 'Not half!'
     

    janpol

    Senior Member
    France - français
    Nicomon a été plus rapide que moi. Je vois là, moi aussi, un euphémisme : il est un peu parano sur les bords = il est complétement parano.
     
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