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The French phrase "Je jette l'éponge" revealed

You are going to find out everything you need to know about the basic expression "Je jette l'éponge". This include a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. Plus, we also added super useful stuff like dialogue example, synonyms, slow pronunciation audio and more!

French to English

  • Translation : I give up

  • Literal meaning : I throw the sponge

  • Register : Informal - Basic

How to pronounce it



  • IPA : / ʒə ʒɛt lepɔ̃ʒ /

aesthetic french quote je jette leponge

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What does je jette l'éponge mean?


This expression comes from the world of boxing, where the coach can throw his sponge (or towel) in the middle of the ring to request an end to the fight in place of his boxer.

How to use it

If you want to say "I give up" in French you can simply say "J'abandonne."

But if you want to be a bit more informal and original, use instead: "Je jette l'éponge" (Literally: "I throw the sponge")

Fun facts

This is very similar to the English expression "To throw in the towel" which also refers to boxing. But why English chose the towel and French chose the sponge is a mystery...


↓ Example in a story with translation ↓

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

Mauvais perdant

Sore loser

Un soir, Philippe a proposé à Emily de venir jouer à des jeux de société chez lui.
One night, Philippe proposed to Emily to come play board games at his place.
EmilyEncore ?! Peut-être qu'on pourrait faire autre chose ?
Again?! Maybe we could do something else?
PhilippeHmm, j'ai une PlayStation, tu veux essayer ?
Hmm, I have a PlayStation, do you want to try?
EmilyJe n'y ai jamais joué, mais je veux bien essayer.
I never played it, but I'm ok to try.
PhilippeSuper ! Rendez-vous chez moi à dix-neuf heures alors. Je vais nous préparer à manger.
Great! See you at my place at 7pm then. I will prepare us some food.
EmilyOk, cool ! À tout à l'heure.
Ok cool! See you soon.


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