J’ai un chat dans la gorge.

Here’s a good expression for the flu season :

J’ai un chat dans la gorge.

zhay uh SHAH dah lah gorzh.

I have a frog in my throat.

Except that’s not really what it says! We English speakers are accustomed to “frogs” in the throat, but tell that to most French speakers and they will react with some level of disgust at the idea of a slithery, slimy, bug-eyed green thing in their throat. I’ll bet you never thought of that!

That’s because our reference for this expression has everything to do with how we sound when we are hoarse. For French speakers, it’s all about how it feels. So what do they say when they become hoarse? I have a cat in my throat!

And how do we react when we hear this? With the same kind of horror! Imagine a large, squirmy, fuzzy, furry thing with claws, teeth, and a long tail in your throat….

Take your pick! Cat or frog? Which do you prefer?

One response to “J’ai un chat dans la gorge.

  1. I prefer the frog, because the same animal is used in German (we also have frogs in the throat). I am still laughing about this one, just thinking about that cat’s tail sticking out of my mouth…

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