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

You are in the right place to find out everything you have to know about the basic expression “Appeler un chat un chat”.

To be more specific, it includes a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. But that’s not all, we also added useful stuff like synonyms, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and if you are interested, you can also find more expressions guides like this one on this page and the complete directory of all our French words pages on this page. Wish you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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French to English

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


  • Appeler → To call
  • Un chat → A cat (x2)

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 the 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

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Tu penses qu’il fait du mal volontairement ? “
” Do you think he’s hurting on purpose? “
” Oui. C’est une très mauvaise personne. “
” Yes. He is a very bad person. “
” C’est ce qui s’appelle appeler un chat un chat “
” That’s what I call “calling a cat a cat” “
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