Elle s’en est sortie haut la main.

Elle s’en est sortie haut la main.

ell sah nay sor-tee oh-lah MAA. Click below to hear this. 

She got out of it brilliantly.

Curious expression, this. Literally, it translates to She got herself out of it with (her) hand up. Elle s’en est sortie suggests that she wiggled or fought her way out of a difficult situation. So of course she would want to celebrate.

But why hand up? And what’s the difference between that and the English expression She won hands down? Unfortunately, I don’t have much of an answer for you! Was there some ancient custom that required losers in some contest to place their hands on the ground, perhaps in obeisance to or in honor of the victor? I probably made that up.

But how do you celebrate an easy (or a difficult!) victory? With a jubilant fist pump in the air, haut la main!

Alternate audio file link: elle-sen-est-sortie-haut-la-main


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