On this page, we are going to teach you everything you want to know about the funny idiom “Il a filé à l’anglaise”.
It includes a detailed guide of what it is and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. And because we want you to learn efficiently, we also sprinkled some super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonym and more!
To be more precise, it means: “To leave discreetly, like a thief“.
But why “English style” then? Because of… France vs. England legendary rivalry. The most popular explanation being that French people used it as a revenge for the British expression “to take a French leave“.
To be fair, there are other theories about where this idiom is coming from. For example, the old French verb “Anglaiser” means “To steal” and we think people said “Filer à l’anglaise” to say “Leave like a thief“.
Let’s imagine your brother was supposed to wash the dishes, but he “disappeared” silently. Then you would say “Il a filé à l’Anglaise !” (He left English style!).
And would probably have to wash the dishes instead, while thinking about how you can “take an English leave“.