Useful phrases for 2020

I think this means “storm in a teacup”

Tempête dans un crachat

Please can someone confirm or correct it… :thinking:

Useful phrases for 2021

  • I have two dozen bottles of wine I’d like to declare

  • How do I apply for a visa?

As for “storm in a teacup” I can only find the fairly obvious

une tempête dans un verre d’eau (or une tasse à/de thé)

@vero will know, I am sure

:sweat_smile: :rofl: Tempête dans un crachat, I found when reading an article on a French News site… and “storm in a teacup” seemed to fit the bill…

I’m not suggesting it is a “translation” from the French but is simply the sense of what it is on about…

If someone can confirm my thoughts - I would love to throw “tempête dans un crachat” into conversations as and when appropriate… :grin: :upside_down_face: :wink:

“Beaucoup de bruit pour rien”


No, I realise that - but I can find very few references to the phrase, and no translations.

I was expressing my lack of success matching “Tempête dans un crachat” with “storm in a teacup” more than anything else.

FWIW I suspect that you are correct:

Googling the full phrase finds just two instances -

Which does seem to offer the phrase as a contrast to “a real battle”

The other hit is in Google Books from Les Miettes de l’histoire by Auguste Vacquerie


But, to be honest I don’t get any obvious meaning from this.

As above, I don’t think Stella is after ways to render “storm in a teacup” in French but rather confirmation that the phrase “Tempête dans un crachat” is best rendered in English by “s in a t c”.

As “un crachat” is a “bit of spit” I guess the idea of a storm in a very tiny amount of fluid is the same.

I’ts also light drizzle “un crachat Breton”, light rain or drizzle.

I suppose in English you might reply to the question “is it raining hard?” with “no, just spitting a bit” so that seems reasonable.

Google seems to want to find neither that phrase, or Stella’s original though - very odd.

Here’s another ‘enflé comme un bouddha’

& for those that go to bed early, ‘se coucher avec les poules’.

“crachin” :wink:

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Depends on the Breton that’s crachat (ing) their crachin at you. :rofl:

“Les Grenouilles de Benetier” (Holy water stoup) - Those uninvited villagers who turn up at the Church for a Baptism, Wedding or Funeral and crowd out the pews - The priest is happy to see them as it adds to his Faire la Quete (Collection).

I think that you’ve got it spot on. A storm in a small volume of water, anglophones say tea cup, the French say spit.
I guess that Paul might find this sort of idiomatic translation difficult to accept, preferring more literal translations as he has stated before that he thinks he has more than a bit of Asperger’s in his makeup.

From where in the conversation do you draw this conclusion??

Here, I often hear… “c’est le temps anglais” when it is wet and miserable…

I shall be able to counter with “non, c’est le crachat Breton” which should make them chuckle as we have several Bretons who have holiday homes in the village. :hugs:

In this conversation, your first two posts.

Do you get many uninvited???

Our folk generally gather outside and chat amongst themselves. Then it’s a mad dash for the seats once the coffin is in place… we certainly could not cope with “uninvited”…

but, as you say, those who pass around the coffin generally put a coin into the collection box/tray. I was shocked at first, seeing someone put in 10 cents… until I realised that for many it is just a gesture - but for others it is a way of giving funds.

I really don’t see that.

Stella’s question piqued my interest, and provided an excuse for a couple of quips - I initially tried looking up the whole phrase searching for a French->English translation - being an idiom you might not get very far with the individual words - but failed; I checked if there were any translations (from English to French) for “storm in a teacup” which were new to me - which turned up “dans un verre d’eau” which seems to be the more idiomatic way of saying it in French but the literal translation works too.

My initial reply was mainly the quips but I also offered (with a gallic shrug hopefully inserted between the lines - think that bit failed) that I’d had no luck with Stella’s phrase. I also thought if anyone knew Véro would.

Just that, no luck, not a preference.

Looking a bit further and checking the meaning of crachat (a word new to me) I found a couple of hits, one of which confirmed that Stella’s interpretation seemed to hit the mark and I could readily see the allusion - hence the follow-up post.

Idioms don’t have to make sense, they are just… idiomatic (why is it that Brits have other fish to fry and the French other cats to whip?). That said sometimes they do make sense when you understand the derivation, and the sometimes long-forgotten meanings of the original.

So, no my Asperger’s does not mean I favour the literal over the idiom where language is concerned, I’ll happily use a good idiom any time. It probably does compel me to type a long post explaining that it does not, but - and this is the real point because I’m more than a bit annoyed - I’m the one who owns the right to comment (in print at least) on how it affects me, no-one else.



That is a bit gross, crachat is a repulsive gob of spittle. In the rest of France we say crachin :grin:.

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