Welcome idiom lovers (or haters, for the masochists out there). Today we’re analysing: faire sauter la grenouille, manger la grenouille / make off with the kitty
First things first: this idiom hasn’t been chosen because it includes the word frog. In fact I’ve never really understood why we still think of the French as frogs.
Yes, the little creatures are still eaten. I’ve even seen them in the French equivalent of Iceland. But French tastes have moved on, much as they have in Britain.
And so maybe our attachment to this insult has had its day? But let’s choose its replacement carefully: I’m not sure “you fish finger” has quite the same appeal.
But today’s phrase has nothing to do with our obsession with frogs.
The correct translation of “faire sauter la grenouille” is “to make off with the kitty”, as “la grenouille” in this case refers to a piggy bank or kitty. The phrase is used when someone has stolen money that was placed in their safekeeping. “Manger la grenouille” is used when this person spends what they have stolen.
And so perhaps it’s time to rethink this “frog” insult? Not only has it been surpassed by a breaded fish stick as the French food of choice but it is a very practical creature. You can eat it and use it to store your pennies. Maybe Eric Cantona is using one (or several) to store the money he recently liberated from his bank?
Just make sure nobody runs off with them Eric. Keep your eye on those frogs.