Il fait le gros dos.

Il fait le gros dos.

eel fail groh doh. Click below to hear this.*

Literal translation: He’s making the fat back. Keep reading for the real meaning!

This is not le gros dos. It is fatback, used in cooking:

And how about this? Is this le gros dos? Nope, not this one either. It’s just a fat back:

This is le gros dos:

When you curl up like a baby, vous faites le gros dos. Babies do it because they are made of rubber bands anyway. Animals do it instinctively, to protect their soft underbelly from the sharp teeth of predators. The rest of us do it to protect ourselves from things like hailstones, tornadoes, baseballs gone wild, riot police, or deep debt. We curl up, and maybe whimper a bit.

And that’s when we say, Il fait le gros dos. Whatever storm has hit him, that is all he can do for the moment. He’s riding it out. He’s grinning and bearing it. He’s hanging on. He’s lying low, until the storm passes.

*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:



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