Monter en épingle

Monter en épingle
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Informal French Expression

Meaning to blow out of proportion, make a big deal about, exaggerate
Literally to mount on a pin
Register informal
Pronunciation French sound files [mo(n) tay a(n) nay peh(n)gl]
IPA   [mɔ̃ te ã ne pɛ̃gl]

Usage notes: The French expression monter en épingle dates back to the days when everyone wore hats and, more specifically, hat pins. The elaborately decorated heads of these long pins attracted attention to even the plainest of hats, so monter en épingle means to draw attention to something with the verbal equivalent of a fancy pin: exaggeration.

Par exemple…

Élise a monté la rumeur en épingle.   Élise blew the rumor out of proportion.
Ce n’est pas la fin du monde – ne le monte pas en épingle !   It’s not the end of the world – don’t make a big deal about it!


  • dramatiser – to dramatize
  • exagérer – to exaggerate
  • en faire tout un fromage – to make a big fuss about it
  • se faire une montagne de rien – to make a mountain out of a molehill
  • mettre en relief – to enhance

 Related lessons

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Monter en épingle

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