Avoir la frite

Familiar French Expression

Avoir la frite
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Meaning to feel great, energized; to be in good shape
Literally to have the French fry
Register familiar
Pronunciation French sound files [ah vwar lah freet]
IPA   [a vwaʁ la fʁit]

Usage notes: The French idiom avoir la frite, "to feel great," evolved from the synonymous expression avoir la patate. Patate is a familiar synonym for "head," and since frites are made from patates, frite became another. The original meaning refers to mental health, but avoir la frite can indicate excellent physical shape as well.

Par exemple…

Tiens, tu as la frite aujourd’hui !   Hey, you’re in a great mood today!
Elle n’a pas la frite depuis longtemps.   She hasn’t been well for a long time.

Note that avoir is used for one’s current, ongoing state of being. You can use other verbs to refer to a temporary or changing status.

Je ne sais pas quoi faire pour te donner la frite.   I don’t know what to do to cheer you up.
En dépit de ses problèmes, elle garde toujours la frite.   Despite her problems, she always remains positive.

Synonymous expressions

  • être bien dans sa peau – literally, "to be well in one’s skin"
  • être d’attaque – “to be on attack”
  • être en forme – “to be in form”
  • être en pleine forme – “to be in full form”
  • être plein d’énergie – “to be full of energy”
    Informal synonyms
  • avoir la banane – "to have the banana"
  • avoir la ouiste – "to have the ‘yes’ voter"
  • avoir la pêche – “to have the peach”
  • avoir la pêche d’enfer – “to have the peach from hell”
  • avoir mangé du cheval – “to have eaten some horse”
  • avoir mangé du lion – “to have eaten some lion”
  • être dans son assiette (usually used in the negative) – “to be in one’s plate”
  • être pêchu – "to be ‘peached’ " (full of energy)
    Familiar synonyms
  • péter le feu – “to be bursting with fire”
  • péter les flammes – “to be bursting with flames”

 Some sources translate avoir la frite as “to be full of beans," but this is only accurate in British English. In American English, being full of beans means “talking nonsense,” which in French is equivalent to dire des bêtises or dire n’importe quoi.

Related expressions

  • être une frite – to be sickly, puny
  • faire une frite (informal) – to flick/slap on the bottom

 Related lessons

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Avoir la frite - French idiom

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