Trempé comme une soupe

Trempé comme une soupe
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Informal French Expression

Meaning soaking wet
Literally soaked like a soup
Register informal
Pronunciation [tra(n) pay kuh moon soop]
IPA   [tʁã pe kɔ myn sup]

Usage notes: Trempé comme une soupe is a funny French idiom. The first part makes sense: trempé means “soaked” or “drenched.” But all soup is wet, so how does "soaked like soup" make any sense? Besides that, soaking wet typically goes along with being cold, whereas most soups are hot, so where’s the logic? Turns out it’s back in the 14th century.

According to Le Petit Robert, une soupe originally referred to a piece of bread over which broth was poured, which – you guessed it – soaked the bread. (Think French onion soup.) So trempé comme une soupe doesn’t literally mean "soaked like a soup," but rather "soaked like a piece of bread."

Par exemple…

S’il sort dans cette pluie sans parapluie, il sera vite trempé comme une soupe.   If he goes out in this rain without an umbrella, he’ll quickly get drenched.
Tu es trempé comme une soupe ! Je vais te chercher une serviette.   You’re soaking wet! I’ll get you a towel.

Synonyms

  • (person) trempé jusqu’aux os, mouillé jusqu’aux os – literally, "soaked to the bones"
  • (thing) imbibé d’eau – "saturated with water"

 Trempé is the past participle of tremper – to soak, drench.

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