une vieille âme jeune


New Member
English - UK

A character in a book, describing what they're looking for in a partner, says they want "une vieille âme jeune." I know that jeune âme means young soul and vieille âme means old soul but I'm a bit confused over the wording of this - do they mean an old woman with a young soul, or a young woman with an old soul? Or something different?

  • Locape

    Senior Member
    Well, to me it means the latter. At least when I read it the first time, now I'm confused too! 'Une vieille âme, mais jeune' : an old soul, but young of age? Because if you say the contrary, 'une jeune âme vieille', for me it means an old woman with a young spirit/soul.

    guillaume de manzac m

    Senior Member
    English - London, Essex, Brighton, S.E.
    Difference between "an old soul in a young body" and "a young soul in an old body" - sounds like the French phrase would like to have "le meilleur des mondes possibles" (Voltaire - Candide).