Thursday, 13 February 2014

If Only ...

With nothing much else to blog about this week, I thought I'd share the new expression that Understanding Frenchman decided should be added to my repertoire yesterday. We were watching the Olympics and the commentator kept saying, "If only she had done this, if only she had done that."

"Yeah, yeah," said UFM. "Et si ma tante en avait, elle serait mon oncle." ("If my aunt had any, she'd be my uncle.")

Seeing that I was quite taken with this new phrase, he told me that in polite company, it would be preferable to use the much less colourful, but never the less pretty, "Si Paris était petit, on l'aurait mis dans une bouteille." ("If Paris were tiny, we'd have put it in a bottle by now.")

The closest English equivalent I can think of is, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride," but can anybody think of a rude version?


  1. I can't think of a rude version right off the top of my head but I am sure there is one. Heck there are probably several. People like making up rude expressions :)

  2. I can only think of the similar polite expression "if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry christmas"! I feel like all the really good dirty French expressions aren't nearly as good in English.