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An interesting expression: « Posez un lapin »

Take note!!! In this amusing expression the word « lapin » (rabbit) has a quite different meaning from that of the animal we know. Even though its definition is simple, it’s not so easy to guess its meaning… you have to get to learn it!

« Poser un lapin » (place a rabbit) means: not to attend a meeting without warning the person waiting.

In former times, however, its meaning was different. In 1880 for example it meant “not to pay a young lady for her favours”. In fact at that time a “lapin” meant a refusal to pay.

But generally the expression is used with the other meaning. You rarely hear « j’ai posé un lapin à Tomas » (I stood Thomas up), but it’s rather Thomas who says « Oh ! j’avais rendez-vous avec Marie. Je l’attendais pendant une heure… mais elle n’est pas venue. Elle m’a posé un lapin » (I had a date with Marie. I waited for her for an hour… but she didn’t come. She stood me up.).

This sentence is used mainly for a date between a man and a woman. But as the expression was very successful – you hear it more and more often – it is also used for a professional meetings or between friends.

To express the same thing it’s enough just to use the word « lapin »: « On se voit ce soir au cinéma… Et attention : pas de lapin ! » (Shall we meet this evening at the cinema…careful: no standup).

Source :

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