All about the French expression "Arrête ton cirque"

Get ready to learn everything you have to know about the basic idiom “Arrête ton cirque”.

To be more precise, it includes a complete guide of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. As well as the useful stuff we added like literal meaning, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Oh and… on this page you will find more of these idioms guides and all our content about French words on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

Artboard 1
Showcase of this quote from our Instagram account
Daily posts like this on Instagram → @all.french and Telegram

English translation

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


  • Arrête → Stop
  • Ton cirque → Your circus

What represents the entertainment world more 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.


Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Dans l'appartement
In the apartment
Léa:   Voici mon appartement ! Entre !
There is apartment! Come in!
Claude:   Wow, c’est joli ! Et tu as un chien ?
Wow, that’s pretty! And you have a dog?
Léa:   Oui, il s’appelle Hunter.
Yes, his name is Hunter.
Claude:   Il est très mignon !
He’s very cute!
Léa:   Je pense qu’il t’aime bien !
I think he likes you!
Claude:   Oui je pense aussi !
Yes I think so too!
Léa:   J’ai faim, on commence à cuisiner ?
I’m hungry, let’s start cooking?
Claude:   Oui, mais d’abord je vais me laver les mains. Où est la salle de bain ?
Yes, but first I’ll wash my hands. Where is the bathroom?
Léa:   La première à doite dans le couloir.
First right in the hallway.
Get access to 365 French Texts and Quizzes

Become a member to access the full version of 365 texts and quizzes! 

Already a member? Login here