to stick one's foot in their mouth?

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by semiller, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. semiller Senior Member

    DFW, Texas
    Is there a French equivalent to this expression? What the term basically means is when someone (foolishly) says something that might offend someone else without realizing it. For example, at a table of five someone makes the comment that Islam is a bad religion. That person didn't know that someone at that table was Muslim. We would say that he should have stuck his foot in his mouth. Ce genre d'expression existe-il en français? Merci.
  2. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    This one would be : Faire une gaffe

    Mettre les pieds dans le plat means the same, but consciously, normally not with the intention to offend, but with the intention to talk about THE subject and clarify things, when nobody else wants to talk about it.
  3. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    erm, faire une gaffe c'est ce que semiller décrit.

    semiller, ce que tu cherches, c'est 'mettre son pied dans sa bouche' afin de ne pas faire de gaffe... ou bien je t'ai mal compris ? (mon dico donne mettre les pieds dans le plat mais ça ne colle pas avec ton exemple)...

    'tourner sa langue 7 fois dans sa bouche' peut-être ?
  4. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    Oui, j'aurais dû mieux lire le message de Semiller,

    Pense avant de parler, Valérie!
    J'aurais mieux fait de tenir ma langue (= ne pas parler)
  5. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    hmmm... faire une gaffe = make a mistake
    make a mistake = put ones foot in ones mouth.


    heh.. ok i re-read his post aswell lol, but MY understanding of sticking ones foot in ones mouth is the act of making a mistake. maybe its one of those little anglo-american language differences. for exmaple sometimes after someone has said something relly thick you might say you can take your foot out of your mouth now (cos he just stuck it in there..), but i dont know i guess i'll have to go and take a survey or something.. :)
  6. nredwine

    nredwine Member

    USA - English
    The idea behind putting your foot in your mouth is that you just said something really outwardly noticeable (thus symbolizing the act of putting a foot in your mouth, which everyone would notice and think was weird). Therefore, people use this expression to mean "Oops, I just said something that may cause hurt or embarassment" like the example that Semiller gave about commenting on Islam at the dinner table when a Muslim is present.

    More... taken from internet...

    This idiom is used to describe when a person says the wrong thing at the wrong time. We often use this idiom if we say something stupid in front of other people, especially if it is something embarrassing and inappropriate.

    A couple is talking about the conversation they had with another couple
    A: I can't believe you did that.
    B: What? What did I do?
    A: You asked if Daphne was pregnant. But she's not pregnant. She's just gained a little weight.
    B: Oh, yeah. I really put my foot it my mouth, didn't I? I was so embarrassed.
  7. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    thanks all, it's clearer now !! :)

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