10 need-to-know French expressions for Valentine's Day

From 'lightning bolts' to 'placing rabbits' and 'dropping old socks' these are some great French dating phrases just itching to be used on Valentine's Day.


2/13/20241 min read

man and woman kissing
man and woman kissing

Understanding the linguistic subtleties of dating in your own language can be tricky enough – let alone in a foreign tongue.

These are some of The Local's favourite romance-related expressions that might come in handy on Valentine's Day.

Un coup de foudre

Lightning bolts can be lethal, of course. But in France un coup de foudre also means "love at first sight" - the literal translation is 'a hit of lightning'.

Got a blind date planned for Valentine's Day? Let's hope you both get struck by the lightning of love.

Faire une partie de jambes en l’air

This is of course only to be used if everything goes really well on Valentine's Day.

Literally “an up in the air legs match” or a little more accurately “to play a session of legs in the air”, this commonly used expression has been around for a long time and for want of a better option, can be translated as "to have a bonk".

And just like "to have a bonk" in English, this one isn't really used in everyday chat in France any more. In fact, you're more likely to hear people using it ironically, or to be funny. Which is worth knowing before you try and seduce a French person with it . . .

Tout ce qui l’interesse c’est une partie de jambes en l’air - all he’s interested in is getting his leg over!

Article from thelocal.fr. For the full list of expressions, click here.