Ce n’est pas sorcier!
snay pah sore-seeYAY! Click below to hear this.
It’s not brain surgery!
It’s not rocket science, either. Or, as the French say literally, it’s not witchcraft.
Why witchcraft instead of rocket science or brain surgery? Is France a backward country that still believes in black magic? Of course not. The phrase is just a holdover from a distant past.
Un sorcier is a sorcerer (a male witch, in other words), and une sorcière is a female witch. When we say ce n’est pas sorcier, however, there is no gender. Ce is it–whatever you are discussing. It’s usually an action (fixing the toaster, balancing the checkbook, wrapping a gift without using a whole roll of tape), and an action can’t be masculine or feminine, regardless of anyone’s opinions about “whose job it is”.
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