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Photo of a drawing of chestnuts

Chauds les marrons


Idioms are a vital part of every language for they add colour and imagery to your speech, therefore making it more expressive. Learning idioms in a foreign language will allow you to communicate in a much more natural and authentic way. While grammar and vocabulary are the building blocks of a language, these expressions will make you sound like a native speaker!


You may hear someone use the French expression Chauds, les marrons ! when they are trying to carry something bulky or hot and they want people to move out of the way. It can be translated as ‘coming through!’, ‘watch out!’ or ‘careful!’.

The connection to chestnuts may seem a bit confusing, but it hails from a sight that will probably be familiar to you if you have been to Paris or any other French city in the autumn or winter. You may remember seeing little stalls on the side of the street, smelling the scent of roasted chestnuts in the air, and hearing the voices of street vendors shouting ‘Chauds ! Chauds les marrons !’ to persuade people to buy a warming snack from them.

This expression can also be found in Dalida’s 1961 record ‘Les Marrons chauds’, in which she sings about being in love in the winter time.

Drawing of chestnuts and text that reads 'Chauds les marrons'

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