Métro, boulot, dodo

Métro, boulot, dodo
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French Expression

Meaning the rat race; work, work, work
Literally subway, work, sleep
Register informal
Pronunciation [may troh boo loh doh doh]
IPA   [me tro bu lo do do]

Usage notes: The French expression métro, boulot, dodo is much more descriptive and poetic than its English counterpart "the rat race."

  1. Métro is the apocope of métropolitain ("subway") so is here synonymous with "commute."
  2. Boulot is an informal word for work – equivalent to "daily grind."
  3. Dodo is baby talk for "sleep."

So it’s sort of like saying "commute, work, sleep," but somehow that just doesn’t have the same ring to it as the French expression. (There’s also "eat, sleep, work, repeat" – interesting that it has "eat" instead of "commute.")

Par exemple…

Pour lui, c’est toujours métro, boulot, dodo.   For him, it’s always the rat race. (All he does is work.)
C’est métro, boulot, dodo depuis trop longtemps – j’ai besoin de vacances !   It’s been nothing but work for too long – I need a vacation!

Synonymous expressions

  • boulot boulot
  • du travail, encore du travail et toujours plus de travail

Somewhat synonymous

  • la vie de fou – crazy life
  • la vie quotidienne – daily life

 Related lessons

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Métro, boulot, dodo
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