They are like the sugar in the coffee: natural. “Touch wood”, “my little finger told me”, “balloons background”… These formulas dot our day to day conversations. We utter spontaneously without we doubt their story.

Take the expression “a bear bad licked”: few of us know that before they designate a “man bad, bad”, the formulation was used to speak of a child’s ill-formed. In fact, the tradition was popular in the Seventeenth century was told that the “bears were presenting their little ones that were born unformed in the licking”. Thus, we say of a child “badly done” that it is as “a bear bad licked”.

Are you certain to know the origin of the phrases you say every day? Le Figaro proposes to you, thanks to the book to Walk beside its pumps and 99 other popular expressions (First) Catherine Guennec, to do the test.

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