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Informal French Expression
|Meaning||to freak out, blow a fuse/gasket, lose one’s temper, go postal|
to blow the fuses
|Pronunciation||[pay tay lay plo(n)]|
|IPA||[pe te le plɔ̃]|
Usage notes: The French expression péter les plombs is exactly equivalent to the English "to blow a fuse." Literally, they refer to electrical fuses, essential safety devices that blow when overloaded in order to prevent short circuits and other electrical problems.
Figuratively, both expressions allude to a person’s temper (e.g., he has a short fuse, it doesn’t take much for him to overload). So péter les plombs indicates that a person’s fuse has blown and he thus loses his temper.
|En voyant les dégâts, Jean a pété les plombs !||Upon seeing the damage, Jean blew a fuse!|
|J’ai peur de lui dire, elle va péter les plombs.||I’m afraid to tell her, she’s going to freak out.|
Variation: péter un plomb
Synonyms: see the list at péter un câble
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