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All about the French idiom "Tu as un poil dans la main"

Get ready to learn everything you want to know about the funny French idiom "Tu as un poil dans la main". More precisely, this includes a detailed guide 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 some super useful stuff like synonym, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

French to English translation

  • Translation : You are lazy

  • Literal meaning : You have a hair in the hand

  • Register : Informal - Funny

Pronunciation example



  • IPA : / ty a ɛ̃ pwal dɑ̃ la mɛ̃ /

aesthetic french quote avoir poil dans la main

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What does it mean exactly?


You might think: "How did this expression end up meaning you are lazy?".

Simple, let's imagine someone so lazy that he/she is never using his/her hands. Then, just like nature coming back in abandoned cities, the hairs would start to grow up, claiming back their untouched territory.

Another theory is that, if you lend a hair to someone very lazy (a very common situation indeed). They will keep it in their hand and use it as an excuse for not doing anything else, because they "can't".

How to use it

Instead of just saying "You are lazy", you can add some fun and color to your sentence by saying "Tu as un poil dans la main." (You have a hair on your hand).

This is a very informal idiom, so use it only with friends and relatives, ideally not at work since people might not appreciate it...

Below, you will find some variations in case you need more details.

Funny stuff

If the person is extremely lazy, you can use "Tu as un baobab dans la main." (You have a baobab on your hand).

If this is your case, take care of it and don't forget that a healthy baobab needs daily sun and fresh water.


↓ Example in a story with slow French audio ↓

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

L'importance de la communication

The importance of communication

En général, les week-ends, Olivia nettoie tout l'appartement.
Usually, on weekends, Olivia cleans the whole apartment.
Ce week-end, c'est ce qu'elle fait.
This weekend, that's what she's doing.
Et elle voit Théo assis sur le canapé, qui regarde son smartphone...
And she sees Théo sitting on the couch, looking at his smartphone...
OliviaJ'ai besoin de ton aide...
I need your help...
ThéoBien sûr, j'arrive dans cinq minutes.
Of course, I'm coming in five minutes.
Trente minutes plus tard, Olivia revient voir Théo...
Thirty minutes later, Olivia comes back to see Théo...
Il est toujours assis sur le canapé...
He's still sitting on the couch...


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C'est bête comme chou


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Être de mauvais poil

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