We are going to explain you all the things you ever wanted to know about the funny French idiom “Quand les poules auront des dents”.
It includes a full explanation of what it mean and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. And because we want you to learn efficiently, we also sprinkled some useful informations like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!
It literally means:
The French expression “Quand les poules auront des dents” (When the hens will have teeth) is an absurd reference to a situation that will certainly never happen. We use it mostly ironically about something that we judge impossible.
You can for example say to someone: “Tu seras riche quand les poules auront des dents.” (You will be rich when the hens will have teeth) a.k.a. never.
But few similar expressions exist, for example, if someone asks you when you will stop eating fast food, you can answer: “À la Saint-Glinglin” → During Saint-Glinglin’s day (A day that doesn’t exist) or “La semaine des quatre jeudis” (The week of the four Thursdays).
During the 19th century, another formulation was used: “Quand les poules pisseront” (When the hens will pee).