Avoir les chevilles qui enflent

Avoir les chevilles qui enflent
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Informal French Expression

Meaning to have a swelled/swollen head, be full of oneself, be too big for one’s britches
Literally to have ankles that swell
Register informal
Pronunciation [ah vwar lay sheu veey kee a(n)fl]
IPA   [a vwaʁ le ʃə vij ki ãfl]

Usage notes: The French idiom avoir les chevilles qui enflent is informal and insulting to refer to a person who thinks too highly of himself or herself. This is one case where I think the English expression is better. One’s ego is in one’s head, so it makes sense that being very egotistical would mean a person had a big head. In French, though, you think a lot of yourself and your ankles swell… where’s the logic in that?  🙂

Par exemple…

Jeanne pense qu’elle va gagner ? Elle a les chevilles qui enflent.   Jeanne thinks she’s going to win? She’s full of herself.
Il fait du bon travail et il le sait – il commence à avoir les chevilles qui enflent.   He does good work and he knows it – he’s starting to get too big for his britches.

Synonymous expression: avoir la grosse tête – literally, “to have the big head”

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Elle a les chevilles qui enflent

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