The French idiom "Ça coûte la peau des fesses" revealed

Are you ready to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the funny expression “Ça coûte la peau des fesses”?

Including a complete definition of what it is and how you can use it in a conversation with an audio example. Not to mention the cool stuff we sprinkled like dialogue example, synonym, slow pronunciation audio and more!

By the way, you will find more of these expressions tutorials on this page and the complete directory of all our French words content on this page. Wish you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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French to English

Pronunciation guide

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


The literal meaning is:

  • Ça coûte → It costs
  • la peau → the skin
  • des fesses → of the buttocks

I don’t know for you but I would really appreciate not losing my skin in this area, not in any other area, actually.

That’s why we use this expression when we judge that something is extremely expensive. So expensive that if we pay for it, it would be like losing a part of ourselves.

How to use it

Don’t forget that it’s a vulgar expression and you shouldn’t use it in formal contexts, even though there is an even more vulgar version: “Ça coûte la peau du cul” (It costs the skin of the ass).

For informal contexts, you would be fine using “Ça coûte la peau des fesses” or any of the synonyms below.

In case you are not sure, you can stick with the neutral way to express this idea: “Ça coûte une fortune” (It costs a fortune) or even simpler “Ça coûte très cher” (It’s very expensive).

Synonyms and similarities

  • Ça coûte très cher → It’s very expensive (Neutral)
  • Ça coûte une fortune → It costs a fortune (Neutral)
  • Ça coûte la peau du cul → It costs the skin of the ass (Vulgar)
  • Ça coûte une jambe → It costs a leg (Informal)
  • Ça coûte un rein → It costs a kidney (Informal)
  • Ça coûte bonbon → It costs candy (Informal)
  • Ça coûte une blinde → It costs a lot (Informal)
  • Ça coûte les yeux de la tête → It costs the eyes of the head (Informal)

Everyday life dialogue example with audio

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” C’est combien ? “
” How much is it? “
” Mille euros “
” One thousand euros “
” Wow ! Ça coûte la peau des fesses ! “
” Wow! It costs the skin of the butt!* “
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