Rouler dans la farine

Rouler dans la farine
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Informal French Expression

Meaning to swindle
Literally to roll in flour
Register informal
Pronunciation French sound files [roo lay da(n) lah fah reen]
IPA   [ru le dã la fa rin]

Usage notes: Rouler dans la farine is an informal French expression with terrific – though coincidental – wordplay.* In addition to its normal meaning "to roll," rouler informally means "to swindle, cheat someone" and this can be emphasized with the addition of dans la farine.

The expression is commonly used in the reflexive causativese faire rouler dans la farine – to mean "to be swindled, cheated, had."

Par exemple…

L’agent immobilier m’a bien roulé dans la farine.   The real estate agent really got me.
Il s’est fait rouler dans la farine.   He got swindled, He was had.

Synonym: enfariner

 * Here’s the fun part. Farine means "flour," and what does one typically roll in flour? Dough, to make bread, both of which are slang terms for money. So you could stretch the meaning of rouler dans la farine to something like "to roll (someone) in the dough" which is almost the opposite meaning of rouler quelqu’un dans la farine. It’s the swindler who’s rolling in the dough afterwards, not the swindled. Pretty clever, eh? OK, maybe that’s too much of a stretch. (Ha ha, another dough pun! How do I come up with them?)

 More French expressions with food

Related lessons

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Rouler dans la farine

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