Faire un froid de canard

Faire un froid de canard
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Informal French Expression

Meaning to be bitterly cold
Literally to be a duck’s cold
Register informal
Pronunciation [feh ru(n) frwa d(eu) kah nahr]
IPA   [fɛ ʁœ̃ fʁwa də ka naʁ]

Usage notes: When it’s really, really cold, it’s a duck’s cold, according to the French idiom faire un froid de canard. Why? Because the best duck hunting days are in the winter, when hunters have to keep still for long periods in freezing cold weather in order to allow their prey to get close enough to be shot. Thus, that bitter cold that seeps into the bones is known as un froid de canard.

Par exemple…

N’oublie pas ton bonnet, il fait un froid de canard !   Don’t forget your hat, it’s bitterly cold out!
Il faisait un froid de canard la semaine dernière.   It was bitterly cold last week.

Variation: faire un temps de loup – literally, “to be a wolf’s cold”

Synonymous expressions

  • c’est une journée glaciale
  • faire très froid
  • faire un froid glacial
  • faire un froid très vif
  • le temps est glacial
     
    informal
  • on crève de froid
  • on se gèle
     
    familiar
  • ça pince
  • ça pince dur
  • on se caille les meules
  • on se caille les miches
  • on se (les) caille
  • on se les gèle

 Related lessons

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Faire un froid de canard
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