Mots difficiles en anglais

in lieu of

au lieu de. « We gave money to charity in lieu of sending flowers to the funeral. »


entaille, encoche, cran « they cut notches in the handle of their pistol for each man they shoot. » « His latest work is several notches above anything he has produced before. »        
to move up a notch = augmenter d'un cran.
top notch: de premier ordre, haut de gamme.


contrat, engagement.
to covenant £200 per year to a charity = s'engager à verser 200 livres par an à une œuvre de bienfaisance 


échafaud, échafaudage


se branler, branlette


in the aftermath of sth = à la suite de qch in the aftermath of the war, the country was ruined.

to go astray

s'égarer the letter had gone astray.
fig.: quitter le droit chemin.
to lead sb astray = détourner qn du droit chemin don't worry, I won't lead you astray.


dispute to have a row = se disputer


marque de fabrique He showed an early streak of political pragmatism that was to become his hallmark.


fou, cinglé they thought I was a loony
loony bin = maison de fous

hot stuff

sexy she's hot stuff!      
osé his love letters are hot stuff

heads or tails

pile ou face We might toss up for it, if it's heads, then we'll talk.

foundation cream

fond de teint

to fathom

comprendre, sonder, pénétrer (un mystère)
Jeremy's passive attitude was hard to fathom I really couldn't fathom what she was talking about.

to shag

baiser the man will shag his wife tonight.


franc, sincère « a candid discussion » « many politicians are still not willing to be candid about this affair. »
candid camera = caméra cachée


lutin, elfe, farfadet


bougon, grincheux, grognon a grumpy old man I arrived late in the evening, grumpy and tired.


engouement This is not love but a foolish infatuation.


défense (d'éléphant)

(se garer en) créneau

(to) parallel park



to ensnare

prendre au piège the spider must wait for prey to be ensnared on its web feminism is simply another device to ensnare women.


pion (échecs)
noms des pièces aux échecs :
king = roi
queen = dame
rook = tour
bishop = fou
knight = cavalier
check = échec, checkmate = échec et mat


tenue she bought a new outfit for the wedding.
sport outfit = tenue de sport  
to outfit [+room, building] = équiper I outfitted an attic bedroom as a studio.


coup de veine The discovery was something of a fluke
by fluke = par un coup de chance extraordinaire By sheer fluke, one of the shipowner's employees was in the city.


sirène. The Little Mermaid


hampe « the shaft of the penis is not as sensitive as the tip »


faille, lacune (dans une loi) a loophole in the law
a legal loophole = un vide juridique
to close a loophole = combler une lacune It's time we closed the loophole which allows criminals to gain easy access to lethal weapons.


[voyage] aller I slept well on the outbound flight.
en partance
outbound traffic = trafic sortant

to stroke

caresser he stroked her hand = il lui caressait la main


miroitement, chatoiement
to shimmer = miroiter, chatoyer i want to shimmer like a star


bouché He's not a bad man, just a bit dense He's so dense!


sang  There were pools of blood and gore on the pavement.


fantasque « It's a good book, but has a very whimsical plot. »


pain d'épices


escroquerie the whole thing was a big con.

to con = arnaquer, escroquer she's been conned.
to con sb into doing sth = tromper qn pour lui faire faire qch
to con sb out of sth = soutirer qch à qn he goes around conning people out of their money. He conned investors out of up to $1000 each.

con man = conman = escroc A few years ago she was the victim of a con man.

to be prone to sth

être sujet(te)  à qch he is prone to indigestion after rich restaurant meals. He was prone to depression.
être enclin(e) à qch males are more prone to violence
être susceptible de people with fair skin are more prone to develop skin cancer.
error-prone : source d'erreur


you thou shalt not kill = tu ne tueras point
thou art = tu es


fig.: pépin
technical glitch = un pépin technique manufacturing glitches have limited the factory's output.



to bob

[boat, cork] flotter Something white was bobbing in the water.   
to bob up and down (in water) = danser, sautiller
to bob about (in the air) = se balancer Huge balloons bobbed about in the sky above.   
to bob up = remonter brusquement à la surface Suddenly an object bobbed up from below the surface.

to snicker

pouffer de rire
snickering = rire étouffé

to drain

exténuer the week's emotional turmoil had drained me.
to feel drained (of energy, emotion) = être épuisé

to clench

serrer to clench the teeth

to be up to scratch

aux normes (produit)
être à la hauteur (=to be up to the mark)

to be up to the mark

être à la hauteur (fig.) I have to watch my staff all the time to keep them up to the mark. The efforts of the security services have not been quite up to the mark.


terre cuite A beautiful terracotta coloured villa.
(couleur) ocre, brun

to cleave


monkey wrench

clé à molette (=adjustable wrench)
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