The French expression "Mon petit doigt m'a dit" explained

You are going to learn everything you have to know about the basic French idiom “Mon petit doigt m’a dit”.

To be more specific, this includes a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. And because learning a new language is important, we also sprinkled some super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, literal meaning and more!

Finally, more of these idioms are available on this page plus all our content about French words on this page. Have fun!

Artboard 1
Showcase of this quote from our Instagram account
Daily posts like this on Instagram → @all.french and Telegram

Translation in English

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


  • Mon petit doigt → My little finger
  • M’a dit → Told me

Why? Why would your little finger say anything to you? I know it sounds crazy, but there is actually a (surprisingly) logical explanation.

Go wash your hands first. Once done, try to put each of your fingers into your ear. Huh… you can’t right? Oh wait! It works with the little finger!

Our little finger seems to be the only one able to “visit” our ear. This expression is based on that fact, imagining that the little finger is a private confidant for the ear, the only one who secretly comes and talks to it.

So, this expression means that we have a secret source of information, but we don’t want to reveal it. Then we say it’s coming from our little finger instead.

How to use it

Next time someone asks you: “But wait, how could you know that? Who told you?” simply reply: ” C’est mon petit doigt qui me l’a dit” (It’s my little finger who told me).

But you can also use it in an active sentence like: “Mon petit doigt m’a dit qu’il va pleuvoir demain” (My little finger told me it will rain tomorrow).

Plot twist: your little finger sucks at predicting weather, you just used your phone, but it’s much funnier this way…

Fun stuff

You might think “Come on, you invented this whole little finger into the ear story“. And I know it sounds weird…

But here is something for you: in French the little finger is called “Auriculaire“. And this name is coming from the latin “Auris” (Ear) and the suffix -culus (Small).

Mind-blowing right? I don’t know for you, but that’s for this kind of useless piece of information that I love learning languages…

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Fausse surprise
Fake surprise
Karine:   Rémi, je connais ton petit secret !
Rémi, I know your little secret!
Rémi:   De quoi tu parles ?
What are you talking about?
Karine:   Mon petit doigt m’a dit que ta soeur Lisa se marie !
A little bird told me that your sister Lisa is getting married!
Rémi:   Quoi ?! Lisa se marie ?!
What?! Lisa is getting married?!
Karine:   Attends… tu ne savais pas ?
Wait… you didn’t know?
Rémi:   Je n’en avais aucune idée !
I had no idea!
Karine:   Je pensais que tu savais…
I thought you knew…
Rémi:   Non. Qui t’a dit ça ?
No. Who told you that?
Karine:   Son meilleur ami Lucien.
His best friend Lucien.
Rémi:   Alors son meilleur ami et toi le savez et pas moi… incroyable !
So you and his best friend know it and I don’t… unbelievable!
Get access to 365 French Texts and Quizzes

Become a member to access the full version of 365 texts and quizzes! 

Already a member? Login here