Attacher lundi avec mardi

Attacher lundi avec mardi
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Informal French Expression

Meaning to misbutton, to button wrong
Literally to attach Monday with Tuesday
Register informal
Pronunciation French sound files [ah tah shay loo(n) dee ah vek mar dee]
IPA   [a ta ʃe lœ̃ di a vɛk maʁ di]

Usage notes: French children are sometimes taught the days of the week with the help of button-down shirts: each day is equivalent to one button. From this comes the wonderful French idiom attacher lundi avec mardi.* Unfortunately for English speakers, there’s no idiomatic equivalent – we’re stuck with just the matter-of-fact "misbutton" or “button wrong.”**

Par exemple…

Fais attention, tu viens d’attacher lundi avec mardi.   Pay attention, you just misbuttoned your shirt.
Tu as dû être pressé ce matin – tu as attaché lundi avec mardi !   You must have been in a hurry this morning – you buttoned your shirt wrong!

Variations and synonyms

* You might hear other combinations of two days: mardi avec mercredi, samedi avec dimanche, etc. Also, you can use boutonner rather than attacher.

Other variations:

  • attacher / boutonner lundi dans le mardi
  • attacher / boutonner Pierre avec Paul
  • attacher / boutonner Pierre avec Jacques
  • boutonner Metz avec Paris
  • Québec : être boutonné en jaloux

By extension, you can use these expressions to mean "badly dressed."

 Interestingly, not all native French speakers know these expressions, but the ones who do typically remember them from childhood.

** Rich Hall, creator of Sniglets, attempted to fix this lacuna with shirtlop but it never really caught on.

 There are similarly constructed expressions in English but the meaning is completely different: "Your slip is showing."

  • Saturday is longer than Sunday.
  • Monday comes before Sunday.
  • Your Monday is longer than your Tuesday.

Again, the day combinations are very flexible.

 If you believe that it must say "wrongly" rather than "wrong," I refer you to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Wrong as an adverb

And Cambridge Dictionary:

Wrong as an adverb

 Related lessons

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Il attache lundi avec mardi

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