Word of the Week: ‘se dorer la pilule’ 

Although it’s now the last day of July (and we’re edging ever closer to shorter, colder days 😱), there’s a summery expression coming up for you all this week: ‘se dorer la pilule’. 

For more Words of the Week, check out this link here

Word of the Week: 

Se dorer la pilule. 


How to pronounce it:

Suh doh-ray lah peel-ewl. 


What it means in English:

Although it literally means ‘to get the pill golden’ (nope, no idea why either…), a more natural translation into English would be something like ‘to get a tan’. 


Where does it come from?

The website Expressio.fr explains that, in the nineteenth century, the pronominal form of the verb (‘se faire dorer la pilule’) originally was close in meaning to the French expression ‘se faire des illusions’ (‘to kid oneself’ or ‘to delude oneself’). 

However, over time, ‘se faire dorer la pilule’ became a synonym of ‘se bronzer’ (‘to get a tan’). 


How to use it in a sentence:

‘Hier, Marie est allée à la plage pour se dorer la pilule.’

 English translation:

‘Marie went to the beach yesterday to tan.’ 


Similar words:

Se bronzer = To get a tan 

Le bronzage = Tanning 


What are your favourite French words? Let me know on here in the comments below 🙂 

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