À poil

À poil
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Familiar French Expression

Meaningstark naked, in the buff
Literallyin hair
PronunciationFrench sound files [ah pwal]
IPA  [a pwal]

Usage notes: Un poil is a hair, especially one on the body rather than the head. So the familiar French expression à poil means "naked": the person is wearing nothing but their own body hair.

Par exemple…

Il était là, à poil. There he was, stark naked.
À poil ! Take ’em off! Strip!


dans le plus simple appareil in one’s birthday suit
déshabillé undressed
en costume d’Adam/d’Ève (old-fashioned) in one’s birthday suit
en tenue d’Adam/d’Ève in one’s birthday suit
nu naked, nude

Expressions with à poil

être à poil to be stark naked
la baignade à poil skinny-dipping
se baigner à poil to skinny-dip
se mettre à poil to strip down to one’s birthday suit

 Poil also refers to animal hair.

  • à poil blanc – white-haired
  • à poil ras – short-haired
  • un bichon à poil frisé – bichon frise
  • un bonnet à poils – bearskin cap
  • gibier à poil – game animals
  • un terrier à poils durs – wire-haired terrier

 Similar but unrelated expression: Au poil ! – Great! Perfect!

  • arriver au poil – to arrive in the nick of time, at just the right time
  • Ça me va au poil – That’s fine by me

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A poil - naked

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