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All about the French idiom "Appeler un chat un chat"

Are you ready to find out all the things you need to know about the basic idiom "Appeler un chat un chat"? This include a full definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. Along with the useful stuff we added like synonym, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

French to English

  • Translation : To call something as it is

  • Literal meaning : To call a cat a cat

  • Register : Neutral - Basic

Pronunciation example



  • IPA : / aple ɛ̃ ʃa ɛ̃ ʃa /

aesthetic french quote appeler un chat un chat

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What does it mean?


In French, "Appeler un chat un chat" (To call a cat a cat) is a way to say that we should call the things by their name.

It encourages us to stop trying to change the words and just frankly call things the way they really are.

How to use it

Let's say someone is talking about a cheating husband like: "You know, it was a difficult phase of his life, their couple was running through a tough phase, he wanted something new...".

You might want to say: "Il faut appeler un chat un chat, il l'a trompée, c'est tout." → "We must call a cat a cat, he cheated on her, that's it."

The less polite version being: "Stop your bullshit, he cheated on her, that's it."


"(Ne pas) tourner autour du pot." → (To not) turn around the pot

↓ Example in a story with English translation ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Le boulanger

The baker

AliceQuel homme horrible et méchant !
What a horrible and mean man!
JacquesDe qui tu parles ?
Who are you talking about?
AliceLe boulanger.
The baker.
JacquesQu'est-ce qu'il t'a fait ?!
What did he do to you?!
AliceIl m'a hurlé dessus !
He yelled at me!
JacquesEncore ?! Il faut faire quelque chose !
Again?! We have to do something!
AliceC'est un monstre !
He's a monster!
JacquesIl faut
appeler un chat un chatLiterally: To call a cat a cat
: c'est un con !
You have to call things as they are: he's a prick!
AliceOui, tu as raison ! Un con !
Yes, you're right! A prick!
JacquesTout ça parce qu'il n'a pas de concurrence...
All that because he has no competition...


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C'est simple comme bonjour


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