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Informal French Expression
|Meaning||A little bird told me, a little birdie told me|
|Literally||My pinky / little finger told me|
|Register||informal, baby talk|
|Pronunciation||[mo(n) peu tee dwah ma dee]|
|IPA||[mɔ̃ pə ti dwa ma di]|
Usage notes: The French expression mon petit doigt m’a dit is a playful way of announcing that you know something when you don’t want to specify who told you or how you found out. Even more so than its English equivalent "a little bird told me," mon petit doigt m’a dit tends to be reserved for talking to children.
|Mon petit doigt m’a dit que tu n’as pas fait ton lit.||A little birdie told me that you didn’t make your bed.|
|– Comment tu le sais ?|
– Mon petit doigt me l’a dit.*
|– How do you know (that)?|
– A little bird told me.
It can also mean "to have a feeling" or "to suspect" something without having been told by anyone, similar to "by the pricking of my thumbs" found in Macbeth (Act 4, Scene 1).
Somewhat synonymous: Entendre dire
* Grammar note: Why l’a dit? It’s the neuter object pronoun.
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