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Laura K. Lawless

French expression: C'est cadeau

By December 23, 2012

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What does the idiomatic French expression c'est cadeau mean? Click the link above to learn all about it.
More: French expressions


December 26, 2008 at 10:31 am
(1) Steve says:

In Louisiana, and probably other places, we used the expression “c’est lagniappe”.

December 28, 2008 at 7:50 am
(2) m'enfin says:

ils auraient aussi pu dire: “en Californie, voter c’est du gâteau” (c’est facile) whouah whouah whouah!

December 31, 2008 at 12:11 am
(3) Michèle says:

When did the expression “c’est cadeau” become popular? I lived in France until 1976, I don’t remember ever hearing it.

June 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm
(4) Edward says:

I bought a piece of furniture and a small framed print in a shop, and in a confused way I learned the meaning of this phrase. I thought the shop owner was asking me if the print was a gift for someone. I soon realised it was a gift from the shop to me. No charge for the language lesson either.

September 4, 2009 at 7:47 am
(5) jhf20 says:

I live in France and I have also heard this expression with the meaning “it’s given”, “it’s easy”. When you can do something with no difficulty, it is as if someone made it easy for you, and that would be their gift.

December 25, 2009 at 8:20 am
(6) friendval says:

Michèle, it’s really a slang expression, not really widespread. Some people rarely say it, myself, I rarely even never do. But it’s interesting to know it.

December 25, 2009 at 12:02 pm
(7) STELLA says:

c’est intéressant merci beaucoup.

December 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm
(8) Axelle says:

Actually this expression is now very common among young french people (I can tell because I belong to this group) but mainly in an ironical way. For example, something bad happens to you, you will say “c’est cadeau”, meaning sarcastically that you didn’t need this to happen. That’s the idea of a present you’ve been forced into accepting since you didn’t need it.

December 29, 2012 at 9:10 am
(9) Serge says:

You can say “Tiens, c’est cadeau !” to give something away and make it clear you haven’t bought it for the occasion. Another form is to just say “Cadeau !” as you’re handing the gift .

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