General Question

flo's avatar

What does the french expression "C'est tombé" mean?

Asked by flo (12974points) September 21st, 2014

The literal translation means it fell, or so, but what does it mean as an expression?

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9 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It’s literal meaning is, “It fell.” But in proper context it means, “It’s cancelled”, or “It’s been called off.” It’s English equivalent would mean that something has gone wrong, things have gone south, the wheels have fallen off, it’s all gone tits up. Or even, “shit has hit the fan.”

flo's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Thanks. What dictionary do you suggest for expressions byw?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I really don’t know. I just know this idiom from hanging with the guys down at the docks in Fort-de-France. And my interpretation may be specific only to the former and current French possessions in the Caribbean. That’s what it means down here.

Gailcalled and Janbb are my go-to francophiles here and they could probably confirm or refute this as to it’s meaning in France proper. I’m pretty sure they would be able to steer you toward the appropriate reference material as well. Gail i’s the one with the formal education and love for it, and Jan is the professional librarian with some French. I’m just a sail bum who runs up against a different language depending on the island du jour, and i pick up bits and pieces as I go and this just happens to be one of them.

flo's avatar

I appreciate it.

kritiper's avatar

I think it is more like “It is dead” or “It is buried.” Or done, or in the grave, or finished, over. “C’est” (usually) means “it is.” “Tombe” is the French word for “tomb” or grave; an excavation; a burial mound.

gailcalled's avatar

“Tomber” is the French verb “to fall.”

Here are a number of versions of “c’est tombé,” meaning “it fell,”'est%20tombé/forced

And a few moreé&langFrom=fr&langTo=en&langTot=fr-en

i am not familiar with @Espiritus_Corvus‘s idiom, but it makes sense and works for me.

“Enterrer” is the verb “to bury.”

Other meanings for tomber

kritiper's avatar

Look up “tomb’ your English dictionary and you’ll see it is from the French “tombe.” Decide for yourself. Some languages require one to be flexible in interpreting certain phrases, etc. Just sayin’ since I am no expert in the French language, but do study French language lessons some.

thorninmud's avatar

The ”é” ending marks this as the past participle of “tomber” and rules out “tombe”.

flo's avatar

Thank you everyone. It seems the person was trying to end the conversation.

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