All about the French idiom "Arrête ton cirque"

Get prepared to find out everything you need to know about the funny French idiom “Arrête ton cirque”.

More precisely, this includes a full guide of what it is and how you can use it in a conversation with an audio example. Not to mention the cool informations we sprinkled like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonyms and more!

Oh and… on this page you can find more of these idioms pages plus all our tutorials about French words on this page. C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

Table of Contents

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French to English translation

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

Arrête ton cirque meaning


  • Arrête → Stop
  • Ton cirque → Your circus

What represents more the entertainment world than a circus? Therefore: “Arrête ton cirque !” (Stop your circus!) means “Stop acting like a clown!” a.k.a. “Give it a rest!“.

How to use

If someone around you is “acting like a clown” and trying way too much to be funny, you can say “Arrête ton cirque !“.

This is familiar and, depending on the situation, it might get perceived as “kidding” but also criticism. 

If you say it to tease a close friend about something, he/she will probably laugh about it. But if you say it to someone you barely know and with an aggressive tone, people won’t react the same way, so be careful when you use this one.


  • Arrête ton char. (“Stop your chariot“)
  • Arrête ton charre. (“Stop kidding“)
  • Arrête ton baratin. (“Stop your jibber jabber“)
  • Arrête tes conneries. (“Stop your bullshit“)(Vulgar)
  • Arrêtez votre cirque. (“Stop your circus“)(More polite)

Everyday life dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Arrête ton cirque s’il te plaît ! “
” Please stop your circus! “
” Mais je m’amusais juste… “
” But I was just having fun… “
” Non, c’est trop. “
” No, it’s too much. “
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