‘Paté in the armpits’ – 10 ways to say you’re sweating in French

'Paté in the armpits' - 10 ways to say you’re sweating in French
Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was more than a little damp after he delivered a speech on the closing day of the Socialist Party Summer Congress in 2015. Photo: AFP
After an unsettled start to the summer, things are hotting up in France. Luckily, the French language is rich with ways to express that you're feeling somewhat hot and bothered.
After an unusually cold and wet start to July, temperatures across France are rising, while the south east of the country is seeing particularly scorching days.

Chances are that, if don’t live inside a fridge, you’ll be dripping with sweat at several points during the next few weeks.
Thankfully, there are several ways of exclaiming in French that you’re feeling rather warm.
1. Suer comme un porc 

First the classic ‘sweating like a pig’ also exists in French. Suer comme un porc means exactly the same as the English variant and is not the most original expression on the list, but it’s a safe bet.

Je dois rentrer pour me doucher avant le dîner, j’ai sué comme un porc aujourd’hui. – I have to go back home and shower before the dinner, I’ve been sweating like a pig today.

2. Transpirer comme un bœuf

‘To sweat like a bullock’ is a very common French way of saying that you’re sweating like a pig (some say it’s even more common than suer comme un porc).

Je n’ai pas trop envie de sortir ce soir, on va transpirer comme des bœufs ! – I don’t really want to go out tonight, we will sweat like pigs!

You can also use suer comme un bœuf, which means the same.

Paris can be scorching hot in the summer. Photo: AFP 

3. Suinter
Suinter means ‘to ooze’, but the expression je suinte literally means ‘I am melting drop by drop’, which is a pretty telling way of saying that it’s a little too hot out for your taste.
If you’re sat in the sun and would like to move into the shade, you could say, ça vous dérange si on bouge à l’ombre ? Je suinte tellement, c’est insupportable. – Would you guys mind if we move into the shade? I’m melting, it’s unbearable.
4. Fondre
Fondre means ‘to melt’, so if you say je fonds it means ‘I’m melting’. Pretty self-explanatory. Tu veux qu’on rentre ? Tu es en train de fondre comme une petite glace au soleil. – Do you want us to go back home? You’re melting like an ice cream in the sun.

When you’re practically dripping with sweat, you can say that you’re ‘swimming’. Photo: AFP

5. Etre en nage

This expression means that ‘to be swimming’, which means that you are practically bathing in your own sweat. A similar expression is être en sueur (sweating), but être en nage implies that you’re sweating a very large volume.

Ca fait une heure que je suis debout sous le soleil, je suis en nage. – I’ve been standing out in the sun for an hour, I’m sweating buckets.

6. Perdre les eaux

Perdre les eaux means ‘to lose water’. Normally this expression signifies when a woman’s water breaks before she gives birth – but you can also use it about sweating excessively.

Il fait plus que 40C ! Je sais, je perds les eaux là, il faut bien s’hydrater. – It’s more than 40C outside! I know, I’m sweating so much, we need to hydrate well.

7. Avoir les mains moites

This expression refers to your hands only and means ‘to have sweaty hands’. Je n’ai pas trop envie de lui serrer la main, mes mains sont tellement moites. – I don’t really want to shake hands with him/her, my hands are so sweaty.

Feeling like you’re boiling yet? Photo: AFP

9. Avoir des auréoles sous les bras

In French, when you have sweat rings under your arms, they’re called ‘halos’. Auréoles sous les bras literally translates to ‘halos beneath the arms’, which is a pretty way of describing dark and malodorous sweat rings.

Tu devrais changer ta chemise avant l’interview, tu as des auréoles sous les bras. – You should change shirts before the interview, you have sweat rings under your arms.

You can also say avoir des rillettes sous les bras, but it’s less commonly used. Rillette is similar to paté so you are basically saying that you have chunks of meat paste in your armpits. Tasty.

10. Avoir le rideau qui colle aux fenêtres 

This expression translates as ‘to have the curtain sticking to the windows’. Rideau (curtain) here refers to your underpants and fenêtres (windows) to your butt cheeks.

Il fait tellement chaud, à chaque fois que je me relève, j’ai le rideau qui colle aux fenêtres. – It’s so hot, every time I get up my knickers are stuck to my bum.

It’s pretty vulgar so don’t use it with your French boss or mother-in-law, but if you’re among close friends you could impress them with your slang skills. 

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