Le moral dans les chaussettes: A French expression you may hear today

With yet more rain forecast for the days ahead, people in France may be starting to ‘avoir le moral dans les chaussettes’. What does the expression mean?

5 August 2021

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Word for word, avoir le moral dans les chaussettes means to have morale in your socks.

But what does it have to do with bad weather?

Most of France has had cold, wet weather so far in August - and it will continue for a few more days and comes after exceptional amounts of rainfall in July.

Deprived of spending time on sunny terraces or enjoying warm weather at the beach this summer, the French press have described people as having le moral dans les chaussettes.

Read more: No sunshine in France this August (so far) - when will it change?

This 20th century expression brings to mind a vertical scale of happiness running from high to low.

If you’re feeling good, your mood is located towards the top of the scale and you could be said to avoir le moral – or to be in high spirits.

At the opposite end of the scale are the socks on your feet; the closest you can possibly get to the ground. 

Far from feeling positive, to avoir le moral dans les chaussettes means that you are down in the dumps, or in low spirits.

This kind of feeling can be brought on by bad luck, bad news, or simply bad weather.

Luckily for people in France, sunshine is forecast for next week. Fingers crossed it’s time to swap the socks for flip flops.

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