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‘J’en ai marre’: if you are fed up of something use this French phrase

When you have had enough of a situation or person, this short sentence will make your feelings known

There is no word-for-word translation for 'j’en ai marre' but the expression means 'I have had enough' Pic: michaelheim

There is no word-for-word translation for j’en ai marre but, as a whole, the expression means “I have had enough”.

This useful phrase can apply in many different situations when circumstances are getting on top of someone.

There are multiple theories for where the expression comes from. 

Some linguists have linked the word marre to marrement, a word used in the 11-13th centuries to mean unhappiness. 

Others claim it could also have devolved from marence, which meant suffering in the 14th and 15th centuries, or marrissement, used to mean displeasure in the 16th century.

A fourth theory, put forward by linguist Alain Rey, one of the major original creators of the iconic dictionary Le Robert, suggested that the origins lie in the slang term mar or maré.

Read more: French linguist Alain Rey dies aged 92

This word first emerged in the 15th century, meaning a token or chip, then evolved to mean profit or share.

By the 19th century, to have your share – avoir son mar – meant to have what you deserved or needed.

Take this one step further and you have not the right amount, but too much: j’en ai marre – I’ve had enough.

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