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Informal French Expression
|Meaning||to have other fish to fry|
|Literally||to have other cats to whip|
|[ah vwahr do tr(eu) shah ah fway tay]|
|IPA||[a vwar do trə ʃa a fwe te]|
Usage notes: The violent-sounding French expression avoir d’autres chats à fouetter is idiomatic, fortunately: it doesn’t actually mean that any cats are getting whipped, but rather that the speaker has something else to do. The English equivalent is "to have other fish to fry."
Both expressions have just a soupçon of superiority: not just that I have other things to do, but that I have better things to do.
|Je ne peux pas t’aider, j’ai d’autres chats à fouetter.||I can’t help you, I have other fish to fry.|
|Il m’a invité à regarder un film, mais j’ai d’autres chats à fouetter.||He invited me to see a movie, but I have better things to do.|
- More French expressions with chat
- Avoir conjugations
- D’autres and other indefinite adjectives
- Preposition à
Image used with the kind permission of Graham Clark, co-author of Other Cats to Whip: The Book of French Idioms.