A five footed lamb

by tiresomemoi

 Retour à la normale, ave René-CotyRetourn à la normale



A few weeks ago, a friend was surprised to discover that there’s not a French equivalent of “fork in the road.” This got us discussing expressions that are exactly the same in both languages (mouton noir/black sheep) and those that are not (Chercher le mouton à cinq pattes/To look for a needle in a haystack).


This week, in honor of Le salon international de l’agriculture de Paris I thought I’d have a look at animal related idioms. Starting with sheep…


Expressions idiomatiques avec le mot mouton (ou brebis)/ Idiomatic expressions containing the word “sheep”


Revenir à ses moutons – Get back to one’s sheep (subject), get back on track


Doux comme un mouton. – Sweet as a lamb.


Être un mouton (de Panurge)– To be a sheep (lemming, blind follower)


Être un mouton a cinq pattes – Two be a five footed lamb (Can be positive or negative. A rare bird, something odd or exceptional)


Chercher le mouton à cinq pattes – To look for a needle in a haystack


Un mouton noir – A black sheep, odd man out


Des brebis galeuse – Literally, dirty/nasty sheep but meaning, more or less, the same thing as “a black sheep”



English expressions for which I (mostly) don’t know the French equivalent:


Might as well be hung for a sheep as (for) a lamb. – Qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf.


Get (someone`s) goat – Êchauffer la bile/ les oreilles à qqn


In two shakes of a lamb’s tail


Separate the sheep from the goats


Like lambs to the slaughter


To look sheepish


Count Sheep


A wolf in sheep’s clothing


Make sheep’s eyes at somebody



And to end, check out some crazy dudes making amazing sheep art.