Avoir la pêche

This is part of a series on French idiomatic expressions that relate to food. Browse the list of idioms featured so far.

This week’s idiom is, “Avoir la pêche.”

Literally translated as, “having the peach,” it means being in high spirits, having a lot of energy, feeling great physically and/or mentally — in other words, feeling peachy! It is an informal expression that is only used in casual conversation, but is not vulgar.

Example: “Eh ben dis-donc, t’as la pêche, ce matin !” “Well, you certainly are in high spirits this morning!”

Listen to the idiom and example read aloud:

(If no player appears, here’s a link to the audio file.)

This expression appeared in the sixties: it may have evolved from the word pêche (peach) as slang for the face or head, or, according to this source, from the fact that it is also slang for a punch: a boxer who “has the peach” would then be a boxer who packs a punch, and therefore has a good, winning energy.

The core of the expression is the peach, which gives way to variations such as:
“Ça me donne la pêche” (“it gives me the peach”), when something causes one to feel great,
“Je n’ai pas la pêche” (“I don’t have the peach”), when one is feeling down,
“Quelle pêche tu as !” or simply “Quelle pêche !” (“What peach you have!” or “What peach!”) to comment on someone’s elation,
– the adjective pêchu(e) (~peachy), a neologism that has yet to achieve dictionary status, and qualifies someone or something that has good energy, such as “une chanson pêchue”, a catchy, happy song.

You may also encounter these related idioms: avoir la patate (having the potato), avoir la frite (having the French fry), avoir la banane (having the banana, probably because it evokes the shape of a big smile). But these are somewhat dated, and sound a little crude — to my ear at least.

This post was first published in March 2009 and updated in July 2016.

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