The French idiom "J'ai la patate" explained

We are going to teach you all the things you ever wanted to know about the funny French idiom “J’ai la patate”.

Are included a complete guide of what it is and how to use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. Along with the cool informations we sprinkled like dialogue example, synonyms, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and before I forget, you can also find more idioms guides like this one on this page plus the ultimate list of all our French words pages on this page. Ready to learn? Let’s go!

Table of Contents

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French to English translation

Pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

J'ai la patate meaning

Definition

  • Avoir → To have
  • La patate → The potato

With its round shape, the potato was said to look like a head during the 20th century. So saying “Avoir la patate” implies “Avoir une bonne patate” (To have a good potato) → To look good/full of energy.N.B. “patate” is actually the informal way to say “potato” in French. The formal way is “Pomme de terre” which literally means: “Apple of the mud

How to use

Whenever someone asks you how you feel and you feel super good, you can use: “J’ai la patate !” (I feel great!).

A more conversation friendly way would be “Aujoud’hui, j’ai la patate ! Et toi ?” (Today I feel great! And you?).

And don’t forget that this is a familiar expression, not fitted to most work environments. In this case you should use instead: “Je suis en pleine forme” (I feel great).

Funny stuff

You don’t like potatoes? No worries, you can replace it by “J’ai la pêche” (I have the peach) or even by “J’ai la frite” (I have the French fry).

You can also use “J’ai la banane” (I have the banana) but in this case the meaning is slightly different. 

In fact, the “banana version” is more about being smiling (because bananas are smile-shaped) than being full of energy. Even though most of the time these things are linked…

Synonyms

  • Avoir la pêche. (“To have the peach“)
  • Avoir la frite. (“To have the french fry“)
  • Avoir la banane. (“To have the banana“)
  • Tu as la patate. (“You have the potato“)
  • Il a la patate. (“He has the potato“)
  • Elle a la patate. (“She has the potato“)
  • Vous avez la patate. (“You have the potato“)(More polite and/or plural)
  • Ils ont la patate. (“They have the potato“)
  • Elles ont la patate. (“They have the potato“)

Dialogue example with audio

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Tu as l’air en pleine forme ! “
” You seem to be in great shape! “
” Merci ! J’ai la patate ! “
” Thanks! I have the potato!* “
” Super ! “
” Great! “
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