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All about the French quote "J'ai le cafard"

Are you ready to learn all the things you have to know about the funny idiom "J'ai le cafard"? To be clear, this includes a complete guide of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. Plus, we also added some super useful stuff like synonym, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

French to English

  • Translation : I have the blues

  • Literal meaning : I have the cockroach

  • Register : Informal - Funny

Audio pronunciation



  • IPA : / ʒe lə kafaʁ /

aesthetic french quote avoir le cafard

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What does j'ai le cafard mean?


It literally means:

Introduced by Charles Baudelaire in 1857 in "Les Fleurs du mal" this expression designates dark thoughts that can settle in the head, just like cockroaches in a house.

How to use it

You can use it to talk about how you feel: "Je m'en vais, j'ai le cafard." (I'm leaving, I got the blues.)

Or to ask someone about how he/she feels: "Tu vas bien ? On dirait que tu as le cafard." (Are you ok? You seem to have the blues.)


↓ Example in a story with slow French audio ↓

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

Cafard ou Coccinelle ?

Cockroach or ladybug?

Aujourd'hui, Philippe est venu voir Emily.
Today, Philippe came to see Emily.
Il a sonné et Emily a ouvert la porte.
He rang and Emily opened the door.
Emily avait l'air triste. Philippe lui demande :
Emily looked sad. Philippe asks her:
PhilippeTout va bien ?
Is everything fine?
EmilyOui, tout va bien... Entre.
Yes, everything is fine... Come in.
Il est entré dans l'appartement et a découvert beaucoup de désordre.
He came into the apartment and discovered a huge mess.
PhilippeChérie, tu es sûre que tout va bien ?
Honey, are you sure everything is fine?
Emily s'assoit sur le canapé, soupire et dit :
Emily sits down on the couch, sighs and says:
EmilyJ'ai regardé un film triste ce matin.. Et maintenant j'ai la coccinelle...
I watched a sad movie this morning... And now I have the ladybug...


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Mon petit doigt m'a dit


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Ça me passe par dessus la tête

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