October 31, 2011

A Way Out of the Woods

The beauty and poetry of the French language includes the strange and creative world of French idioms.

Today’s featured idiom is:

 Ne pas être sorti de l’auberge =  We’re not out of the woods yet/There’s still more work to do.

In old French argot/slang, the word auberge means jail. To get out of jail, you had to be patient or brave a thousand dangers. So, the idiom is interpreted to mean that, to get out of a situation like jail (or any unpleasant or burdensome situation), there is work to do.

(Thank you to Caroline Hautcoeur for this post. For more practice at the art of French idioms, we invite you to our French/English conversation group on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. For more information, click here.)