Mastering the French language, with its intricate writing and pronunciation, can seem daunting. However, fear not! This article will help language learners navigate the culinary vocabulary with ease, starting with a fundamental ingredient: eggs.

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If Julia Child could conquer the complexities of the French language to pen one of the greatest culinary French books, then surely, mastering food-related words in French is within reach for all. Today, let’s crack into the world of French culinary vocabulary, starting with the humble yet versatile “egg.”

One Language, Many Expressions

Eggs are a staple in kitchens worldwide, and knowing how to talk about them in French opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Here’s how you can say “egg” in French, along with its English translation and pronunciation:

French 🥚English 🥚Pronunciation 🥚
l’œufthe egg/lœf/

Cooking Up Variety

Now that we know how to say “egg,” let’s explore the different ways you can cook them in French cuisine:

French 🍳English 🍳Pronunciation 🍳
oeuf à la coquesoft-boiled egg/œf a la kok/
oeuf pochépoached egg/œf poʃe/
œufs brouillésscrambled eggs/œf bʁujɛ/
œuf au platfried egg/œf o plɑ/
œufs durshard-boiled eggs/œf dyʁ/
crêpe aux œufscrepe with eggs/kʁɛp o zœf/
soufflé au fromagecheese soufflé/suflɛ o fʁɔmaʒ/
quiche lorrainequiche Lorraine/kiʃ lɔʁɛn/
salade niçoiseNiçoise salad/saˌlad niˈswaz/

Expressions Galore

The French language is as rich as its cuisine, and here are ten expressions featuring the word “egg”:

French Expression 👩‍🍳English Translation 👨‍🍳Pronunciation 👨‍🍳👩‍🍳
Avoir un œuf sur le platTo have an egg on the plate/avwaʁ œ̃ œf syʁ lə plat/
Être comme un œufTo be like an egg/ɛtʁə kɔm œ̃ œf/
Faire l’œufTo laze around/fɛʁ lœf/
Mettre tous ses œufs dans le même panierTo put all one’s eggs in the same basket/mɛtʁ tus sɛz œf dɑ̃ lə mɛm panje/
Ne pas casser des œufs sans faire d’omeletteDon’t count your chickens before they hatch/nə pa kase dɛz œf sɑ̃ fɛʁ dɔməlɛt/
Donner un œuf pour avoir un bœufTo give a little to get a lot/dɔne œ̃ œf puʁ avwaʁ œ̃ bœf/
Marcher sur des œufsTo walk on eggshells/maʁʃe syʁ dɛz œf/
Avoir des œufs dans les talonsTo be broke/avwaʁ dɛz œf dɑ̃ le talɔ̃/
Ne pas pondre des œufs en orTo not be a money-maker/nə pa pɔ̃dʁ dɛz œf ɑ̃n‿ɔʁ/
Coquille d’œufEggshell/kɔkj dœf/

With these words and expressions at your disposal, you’re well on your way to mastering the culinary language of France. So go ahead, whip up some oeufs brouillés or perhaps a fluffy omelette, and savor the taste of linguistic success!


What are the components of an egg called in French?

In French, the components of an egg are referred to as follows:

  • The eggshell is “la coquille d’œuf.”
  • The egg white is “le blanc d’œuf.”
  • The egg yolk is “le jaune d’œuf.”

What are examples of French expressions involving the word “œuf”?

Here are some examples of French expressions with the word “œuf”:

  • “C’est comme l’œuf de (Christophe) Colomb”: It means a seemingly easy thing requiring real ingenuity.
  • “Chauve comme un œuf / Un crâne d’œuf”: It denotes someone being completely bald.
  • “Marcher sur des œufs”: This expression signifies walking with great care or speaking and acting with caution.

What does the expression “Qui vole un œuf vole un bœuf” mean?

This proverbial expression translates to “Who steals an egg steals an ox,” indicating that someone who is capable of stealing something small could also steal something larger.


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