La mouche du coche

Le mot du jour : “La mouche du coche”

I learnt a few days ago a new (well, new for me!) English expression : “back seat driver”

It’s apparently someone quite annoying, giving lots of advice and orders without being actually helpful.

Well, in French we would call that kind of people “une mouche du coche”, which means “a stagecoach’s fly”.

Here is the story : in the XVIIth century, Jean de La Fontaine, a famous French fabulist, wrote one of his stories called “The stagecoach and the fly” (Le coche et la mouche). In the story, a small buzzing fly turns around the horses, bites them, annoys them and is sure to be the one making the whole thing works, when actually it has done absolutely nothing useful.

The expression stayed in the French culture and is still used today, long after coaches have disappeared from our lives!

So if you know someone around you who is buzzing a little too much in your ears, you can sigh and say : “Ah, quelle mouche du coche !” 🙂