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French Expressions with Casser

Idiomatic French expressions

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The French verb casser literally means "to break" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to talk about breaking someone, boring someone stiff, warning someone, making an omelette by breaking eggs, and more with this list of expressions with casser.

Possible meanings of casser
  • to break
  • to crack (a nut)
  • to snap (a branch)
  • to spoil the flavor (of wine)
  • to demote
  • to annul
  • to lower (prices)
  • (familiar)to kill (esp. if motivated by prejudice)

Expressions with casser

crier casse-cou à quelqu'un
to warn someone

casser du sucre sur le dos de quelqu'un
to talk about someone behind his back

casser la baraque (informal)
to bring the house down

casser la baraque à quelqu'un (informal)
to screw everything up for someone

casser la croûte (informal)
to have a bite to eat

casser la figure à quelqu'un (informal)
to smash someone's face in

casser la graine (informal)
to have a bite to eat

casser la gueule à quelqu'un (familiar)
to smash someone's face in

casser le morceau (familiar)
to spill the beans, come clean to give the game away

casser les oreilles à quelqu'un (informal)
to deafen someone

casser les pieds à quelqu'un (informal)
to bore someone stiff, get on someone's nerves

casser les reins à quelqu'un
to ruin, break someone

casser la tête à quelqu'un
to deafen someone, to bore someone stiff

casser sa pipe (informal)
to kick the bucket, snuff it


à tout casser
stupendous, fantastic; at the most

Ça / Il ne casse pas des briques (informal)
That's no great shakes.

Ça / Il ne casse pas trois pattes à un canard (informal)
It / He is nothing special, nothing to get excited about

Ça / Il ne casse rien.
It / He is nothing special, nothing to get excited about

Casse-toi ! (familiar)
Get the hell out of here!

Il ne s'est pas cassé le cul (slang)
He didn't bust his butt.

Il ne s'est pas cassé la tête (informal)
He didn't overtax himself, put any effort into it.

Il ne s'est pas cassé le tronc / la nénette (familiar)
He didn't do much, try very hard.

Il nous les casse ! (familiar)
He's a pain in the neck!

Tu me casses les bonbons ! (familiar)
You're a pain in the neck!


un/e casse-cou (informal)
daredevil, reckless person

un/e casse-couilles (slang)
pain in the butt

un casse-croûte
snack

casse-cul (slang adj)
bloody/damn annoying

un casse-dalle (familiar)
snack

un casse-graine (informal)
snack

casse-gueule (fam adj)
dangerous, treacherous

un casse-noisettes/noix
nutcracker(s)

un casse-pattes (informal)
slog, difficult climb

un casse-pieds (informal)
pain in the neck, nuisance, bore

le casse-pipes (informal)
the front

un casse-tête
club, brain-teaser, puzzle

un casse-vitesse
speed bump, sleeping policeman


se casser (familiar)
to split, take off 

se casser pour + infinitive (informal)
to strain oneself to do something, to work at something 

se casser le cou
to fall flat on one's face, go bankrupt

se casser la figure (informal)
to fall flat on one's face, go bankrupt

se casser la figure contre (informal)
to crash into

se casser la jambe/le bras
to break one's arm/leg

se casser net
to break clean off / through

se casser le nez
to find no one in, to fail

se casser la tête sur (inf)
to wrack one's brains about


Proverbs with casser

Il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l'amande.
No pain no gain.

On ne fait pas d'omelette sans casser des œufs.
You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

Qui casse les verres les paie.
As you make your bed, so you must lie on it. You pay for your mistakes.

Casser conjugations
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