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

Get prepared to find out all the things you have to know about the funny French idiom “Mon petit doigt m’a dit”.

To be more precise, this includes a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. And because we want to help you on your learning journey, we also added some super useful stuff like literal meaning, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Oh and if you want, on this page you will find our others idioms tutorials plus all our French words pages on this page. Wish you a good learning!

Table of Contents

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Translation in English

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?

Definition

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

Why? Why would your little finger say anything to you? I kow 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 confident for the ear, the only one who secretly come and talk to it.

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

How to use

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…

Funny 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 pieces of information that I love learning languages…

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Mon petit doigt m’a dit qu’il pleuvra demain “
” My little finger told me tomorrow will be rainy “
” Il est météorologiste ton petit doigt ? “
” Is your little finger meteorologist? “
” Va savoir ! “
” Who knows? “
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