Tuesday, March 25, 2014

coup de pouce

Nous leur pourrions ainsi donner un coup de pouce.

We could thus give them a helping hand.

Sometimes idioms take thought. This one, coup de pouce, literally translates as a blow or hit by an inch, a teeny-tiny blow, a nudge in the right direction. That makes sense, doesn't it?

"Alors," you say, "pouce, is French for thumb."

That is true, but it is also the word for inch. In the old days, before we had tape measures, a craftsman or tailor measured wood or cloth by the thumb.

Want more idioms using the word coup?