Language/French/Vocabulary/Bird

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Birds-les-oiseaux.jpg
The birds: les oiseaux

Welcome to our French vocabulary lesson on birds, or "les oiseaux" in French! In this lesson, you will learn various bird names and related vocabulary to enhance your French language skills. After mastering this lesson, feel free to explore other exciting topics such as French drinks, French love vocabulary, and even French martial arts terms! 🐦🇫🇷 Happy learning!

Bird Words[edit | edit source]

English French Translation
hummingbird colibri
blackbird merle
rooster coq
crane grue
dove colombe
eagle aigle
falcon faucon
nightingale rossignol
ostrich autruche
owl hibou
partridge perdrix
peacock paon
penguin pingouin
pigeon pigeon
raven corbeau
robin rouge-gorge
sparrow moineau
stork cigogne
swallow hirondelle
swan cygne
turkey dindon
vulture vautour
canard duck
poule chicken

Expressions with birds[edit | edit source]

Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid[edit | edit source]

  • Translation: Every little bit helps
  • Literal meaning: Little by little, the bird builds its nest

Comme un coq en pâte[edit | edit source]

  • Literally: Like a rooster in dough
  • Meaning: who has a comfortable and cozy existence
  • Example: “Quand il est chez sa grand-mère, il est comme un coq en pâte.”

“When he’s at his grandmother’s, he’s like a rooster in dough.”

Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps[edit | edit source]

  • Literally: One swallow doesn't make spring
  • Meaning: One swallow doesn't make a summer
  • English equivalent: One swallow does not a summer make.

The proverb has two possible meanings:

  1. Do not draw conclusions from a single fact or a single element.
  2. And, more generally: one must not rely too quickly on appearances; One person is not enough to achieve a major goal.

Politique de l'autruche[edit | edit source]

  • Litterally: the ostrich policy
  • Meaning: Refusal to accept danger.
  • Origin: This expression recalls the legend that ostriches burrow their heads in the sand when they are afraid, which prevents them from seeing what threatens them.
  • Example: "Appliquer la politique de l'autriche" means that one refuses to see the danger where it is.

Un froid de canard[edit | edit source]

  • Litterally: cold of a duck
  • Meaning: A big cold

Être un vautour[edit | edit source]

  • Litterally: "be a vulture"
  • Meaning: "be ruthless"
  • Synonymous: être un requin (be a shark)

Être le dindon de la farce[edit | edit source]

  • Litterally: "Being the stuffing turkey"
  • Meaning: Getting caught up in a case.

Être une poule mouillée[edit | edit source]

  • Litterally: Be a wet hen
  • Meaning: Be a coward
  • Closest English expression: Be a chicken

C'est la poule qui chante qui a fait l'œuf[edit | edit source]

  • Litterally: The singing hen has laid the egg
  • Meaning: The one who has just made a mistake or acted fooly speaks the loudest
  • Closest English expression: the guilty dog barks the loudest

Un cygne noir[edit | edit source]

  • Literally: a black swan

la bouche en cul de poule[edit | edit source]

A "cul de poule" mouth is a mouth whose lips form a circle because the corners are relatively close together. In its figurative sense, this expression means that a person takes on a honeyed air, in order to know or to obtain something.

Tuer la poule aux oeufs d’or[edit | edit source]

Meaning: To greedily destroy a source of promising profits. Origin: This expression finds its origin in a fable by La Fontaine: "l'abus d'une source de profits prometteurs peut la tarir définitivement".

canard boiteux[edit | edit source]

To be an ill-suited individual.

Ne pas casser trois pattes à un canard[edit | edit source]

  • Ils ne cassent pas trois pattes à un canard. They're not that great.
  • Tu ne casses pas trois pattes à un canard. You're not that great.

passer du coq à l’âne[edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: to suddenly change the subject, jump between subjects, make a non sequitur
  • Literally: to pass from the rooster to the donkey

Gai comme un pinson[edit | edit source]

Miroir aux alouettes[edit | edit source]

Bayer aux corneilles[edit | edit source]

Bavard comme une pie[edit | edit source]

C’est chouette ![edit | edit source]

A vol d’oiseaux[edit | edit source]

Faire le pied de grue[edit | edit source]

être le dindon de la farce[edit | edit source]

être pris pour un pigeon[edit | edit source]

être un vrai perroquet ![edit | edit source]

la bave du crapaud n’atteint pas la blanche colombe[edit | edit source]

triple buse ![edit | edit source]

Une cervelle de moineau[edit | edit source]

tête de linotte[edit | edit source]

Quelle bécasse ![edit | edit source]

le chant du cygne[edit | edit source]

crane de piaf[edit | edit source]

oiseaux de mauvaise augure[edit | edit source]

Ce sont de vrais tourtereaux[edit | edit source]

Faute de grives, on mange des merles[edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: when you don't have what you want, you have to know how to be satisfied with what you have.

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