Je ne suis pas dans mon assiette.

More French for the flu season!

Je ne suis pas dans mon assiette.

zhuhn swee PAH dah maw naa-sYET.

I’m not feeling like myself. I’m feeling out of sorts.

This is a great expression! Literally: I’m not in my plate (or dish). This is what you say when you aren’t out-and-out sick, but you don’t feel right, either. In essence, you don’t feel properly “seated”, you feel out of place, you feel “out of it”.

Interestingly, that’s exactly what the French expression is saying, although people don’t really think of it that way. A plate in French is une assiette. This word comes, oddly, from the French verb for sit. Maybe you recognize it: Asseyez-vous (aa-say-yay-VOO), sit down. Or Il s’assied, he sits down. So a plate is something that sits on the table! How l’assiette got that name is anyone’s guess, though mine would be that it contrasts with a cup or a goblet, which appears to stand up. (We’re talking about medieval place-settings here.)

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