Il s’en est jeté un derrière la cravate.
eel sah nay zhuh-tay uh day-reeYAIR lah krah-VAAT. Click below to hear this.*
He tossed one down.
One what? A glove? The gauntlet? A wrestling opponent? A poker chip?
None of the above! This guy is drinking. Alcohol, to be specific. And the implication is that he is either doing it to give himself courage (before meeting the future father-in-law, or before facing the boss) or he is doing it at inappropriate times (at work, on the road).
Not behavior to be commended, of course. But the fun lies in the French. Literally: He threw one (of them) behind his tie. That’s even better than down the hatch, which could be another English rendition of this expression. Can’t you just see the whiskey slithering down his esophagus? It’s like a cartoon diagram in a commercial for heartburn meds, or a kindergarten lesson on “Your Body”. And the expression applies even on casual Fridays. There doesn’t have to be a literal tie.
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: