C’est un peu tiré par les cheveux!

C’est un peu tiré par les cheveux!

say uh puh tee-ray paar lay shVUH! Click below to hear this.

It’s a bit farfetched!

Or, you could say, Aren’t you stretching the point a bit? Really, just two ways in English to say the same thing. But the French is much more fun. Literally, it means It’s a little pulled by the hair.

I’m somewhat reluctant to envision where this phrase might have originated. I fear it has something to do with some medieval torture technique, and imagine trying to grab your idea by the ponytail and drag it, kicking and screaming bloody murder, into the realm of truth.

In reality, and happily, it doesn’t have to be nearly that serious. This saying just expresses a healthy scepticism. It (what you are reacting to) could be the punchline to a joke that only sort of makes sense, or a metaphor that stretches credibility, or an argument whose logic barely holds water. Tiré par les cheveux is the non-literary side of the “willing suspension of disbelief” that Coleridge and later poets ask of their readers.


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