top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

7 French expressions to use when it's hot weather

We look at phrases you can employ to describe sunny spots, oppressive heat, sunbathing and autumn warm spells  

We look at seven phrases you can use to describe the different aspects of hot weather, from sunbathing to sweating.

1. Soleil de plomb

Conveying the meaning of 'the sun is as heavy as lead', this phrase is used when it is really, really hot. The English equivalent might be ‘blazing sun’.

2. Cagnard 

This is a colloquial term from the south of France for a sunny spot. You often hear it said that someone or something is en plein cagnard, meaning they are in direct sun.

3. Ça tape

This means that the heat is very strong – it literally hits you.

4. Être en nage

This means to be very sweaty. The expression used to be être à nage but has evolved to en nage – referring to the fact that swimming, obviously, makes you wet.

5. Faire la crêpe au soleil

This means to lie in the sun in order to tan  –  like a pancake cooking. It is often used when you go to the beach.

6. Se (faire) dorer la pilule

Another expression to mean to stay in the sun in order to tan.

The original expression is dorer la pilule which meant to sugar the pill.

The expression evolved in the 20th century with a meaning of 'to believe in something that does not exist'.

The meaning changed again to indicate 'basking in the sun' during the eighties. Some claim that it is a mix between dorer la pilule and se dorer au soleil (to tan).

7. L’été indien 

Just as in English, this expression meaning 'Indian summer' is used to describe a warm spell of weather in autumn, especially in October and November.

Related stories 

How climate change will affect major cities in France by 2050

27 French departments bring in water restrictions as temperatures rise

Temperature highs of 30-40C forecast for much of France this week

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now