Learn French
with Audio Stories

Try for Free


The French phrase "Occupe-toi de tes oignons" revealed

Ready to learn everything you want to know about the funny French idiom "Occupe-toi de tes oignons"? Including a complete guide of what it is and how you can use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. Together with the cool informations we added like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : Mind your own business

  • Literal meaning : Take care of your onions

  • Register : Informal - Funny

How to pronounce it



  • IPA : / ɔkyptwa də tez‿ ɔɲɔ̃ /

aesthetic french quote occupe toi de tes oignons

Learn French
with Audio Stories

Try for Free

What does it mean?


The literal meaning is:


This French saying is a way to express "Mind your own business / It's none of your business". Because it's informal, the closest expression in English would be "None of your beeswax".

But what's the link with onions?!

This expression comes from the 20th century, where the term "Oignon" (Onion) was slang for both the feet and the ass. It also referred to a mark of independence from women who had a piece of land to grow their onions and sell them.

So "Occupe-toi de tes oignons" became a way to say "Mind your own business. My onion(s), my life".

How to use it

Use it like you would use "Mind your own business" in English, but beware that it's familiar, so avoid using it in formal situations. For a formal version, I recommend you to use "Ça ne vous concerne pas" (It doesn't concern you).

Synonyms / Related

↓ Example in a story with translation ↓

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

Passer une mauvaise journée

Have a bad day

Joe sort pour acheter à manger.
Joe goes out to buy food.
Il est allé au supermarché, a acheté ce dont il avait besoin et est retourné à son appartement.
He went to the supermarket, bought what he needed and went back to his apartment.
En arrivant, il voit Isabelle assise sur le sol en train de pleurer.
When arriving, he sees Isabelle sitting on the floor, crying.
Et il voit à côté d'elle un gâteau explosé par terre
And he sees next to her a cake exploded on the ground
Il court jusqu'à elle.
He runs to her.
JoeIsabelle, ça va ?
Isabelle, are you okay?


The story just started!

Get full access to 365 texts and quizzes, including this one.

Discover more

Already a member? Full story and quiz here.


Couper la poire en deux


To vocabulary list


J'ai la pêche

Go to previous text Go to previous phrase
Play or pause audio
Go to next phrase Go to next text