Hehe, this is an excerpt from an entertaining article by Carolyn Heinze, one half of Naughty Paris [an awesome guide to Paris, non?]
And, like de Gaulle and his cooked carrots, even when the French aren’t talking about food, they really are.
Critics who pan the latest Gerard Depardieu movie might opt to call the film “un navet” (turnip) instead of a flop. In France, a “lemon” doesn’t refer to a poorly built car; “citron” is an affectionate term for “brain.” Got into a bar brawl Saturday night? If you did, it’s possible you emerged with “un oeil au beurre noir” – an eye of black butter – instead of a plain old black one. (Especially if faced with someone who had mustard climbing up his nose – “la moutarde lui monte au nez” – because people in that situation are so angry they are about to explode.) And the French don’t “floor it;” they prefer to “appuyer sur le champignon” (push on the mushroom) when putting the pedal to the metal.
War men like de Gaulle are continuously criticized for the death that ensues the battles they lead. One can imagine how a soldier’s family would feel if their sacrifice was explained in this way: “On ne fait pas l’omelette sans casser un oeuf.” (We don’t make an omelette without breaking an egg.)