Informal French Expression
Usage notes: I have mixed feelings about the French idiom arriver comme un cheveu sur la soupe. It’s ok for the first meaning, although someone showing up at a bad time is subjective, since it depends on what exactly is going on and how each person feels about it. But we can all agree that there’s never a good time to find a hair in your soup.
|Tu dois trouver un moyen d’occuper Céline avant la fête. Sinon, elle risque d’arriver comme un cheveu sur la soupe.
||You have to find a way to keep Céline busy before the party. Otherwise, she might show up at a bad time (while we’re still making arrangements for the surprise).
|Je racontais les détails de mon rendez-vous atroce avec Gilles quand il est arrivé comme un cheveu sur la soupe.
||I was recounting the details of my terrible date with Gilles when he arrived (unexpectedly and when I really didn’t want to see him or have him hear what I was saying).
But the second meaning is pretty weird. Hair in soup is much more than just irrelevant or unexpected; it’s icky and has absolutely no reason to be there. But I guess nonsense is what makes some French idioms so much fun. 🙂
|Sa remarque est arrivé comme un cheveu sur la soupe.
||His comment was completely irrelevant.
|Hier, mes parents sont arrivés comme un cheveu sur la soupe.
||Yesterday, my parents arrived unexpectedly / out of the blue.