Under the pump

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by IGW, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. IGW New Member

    English - Australian
    Bonjour à tous,

    In Australia, and possibly elsewhere as well, we have a saying "under the pump". It means under pressure at work, or lots to do and not much time to do it. I don't think it necessarily needs to imply lots of stress, but it does imply having to work quickly in order to meet a deadline. The origin of the phrase may come from the workers under concrete pumps having to work quickly to ensure the pour is successful, but the phrase is metaphoric now.

    So context might be "I am really under the pump, I have to finish the report before the weekend and my assistant is on holidays."

    What would be the best French phrase, my French teacher suggested:
    être sur les dents
    but I wonder if this is implying a bit more stress than may be in the original saying.

    Merci d'avance
  2. Maurice92 Senior Member

    France french
    Je suis sous pression !
  3. G man New Member

    the correct french expression is "etre sous l'eau"

    by the way, is "under the pump" also used in American english? or any other good one?
  4. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Welcome, G man,

    Under the pump is not familiar to me. Under the gun sounds similar.

    edit: note that under water in American English is entirely different.
  5. DrD

    DrD Senior Member

    Cantal, France
    England English
    Under the pump is familiar to me, but I'm trying to decide if that's because we use it in the UK or because I heard it used on Neighbours earlier today (for those who are not familiar with it, Neighbours is an Australian soap opera). Although it's familiar to me, I think I would say under the cosh.
  6. Lly4n4 Senior Member

    Paris (ex-Grand Ouest)
    Français (France)

    "être sous pression", "être sous l'eau" "être submergé de travail", être débordé" peuvent toutes convenir.
    Je suggère également "être sur la brèche" (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2109597) : être en état d'alerte/ disponibilité imminente , être de permanence.

    Pour employer du jargon d'architecte / école de design / professions artistiques / agences de publicité, il y a aussi "être charrette" : when you work overtime to meet a deadline.

    Sinon, pour employer des termes anglais, j'ai pas mal dit "être en rush" (très courant), et aussi "être en crunch (time)" (mais là c'est l'industrie du jeu vidéo).
  7. Philippides

    Philippides Senior Member

    Français - France
    et également être sous la vague (une variante de sous l'eau)
  8. Souxie

    Souxie Senior Member

    South of France
    French - France
    Marche aussi hors contexte spécialisé.

Share This Page