On this page, we are going to explain you everything you ever wanted to know about the funny French sentence “Comme-ci comme-ça”.
More precisely, it includes a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. But wait, we also sprinkled useful things like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonyms and more!
The literal meaning is:
It’s basically a funny way for French people to say “So-so“, very similar to another French expression with the same meaning “Couci-couça“.
It’s useful when someone asks for your opinion, but you don’t have a firm point of view on the topic. When you can’t (or don’t want to) decide between “It’s lame” and ” It’s amazing“. It’s a very neutral answer.
For example, you are asked: “Tu aimes ma nouvelle coiffure ?” (Do you like my new haircut?) but you have mixed feelings about it, then you can say: “Comme-ci comme-ça” (So-so).
Where is this coming from? To find the answer, we need to travel to… Italy!
In Italian: “Così così” means “So-so“, then French people started to use something similar: “Couci-couci“, which became with time: “Couci-couça“. That’s already far fetched, right? But wait! That’s not over!
“Couci-couça” is an expression made of words that doesn’t exist in French (“Couci” and “Couça“). But is does sounds a lot like words we actually use… Comme… ci… comme… ça !
Boom. This is how you create an expression!
N.B. Nowadays, you can still use “Couci-couça” but “Couci-couci” disappeared.