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.

  • SPRING ! Every body must be in high spirits ! Si ce n’est pas aujourd’hui, pour moi, ce serait jamais ! Joli printemps à toi, Clotilde, dommage que ce soit un peu tôt pour les pêches, j’en aurais bien croqué une ou deux, surtout les plates !

  • Tamsin

    It’s funny how phrases can trigger memories!
    This has to be one of my all time favourite French expressions, every time I use it it reminds me of a summer spent in Annecy where I first heard the expression. My friends and I would try and fit it into as many conversations as possible – strolling along the lakeshore in the brilliant sunshine always seemed to ‘nous donner la pêche’!

    Merci Clotilde!

  • FN

    Good stuff. I definitely will be using this one.

  • msue

    I’ve often heard (and used) the phrase ‘feeling peachy’ to indicate someone who is having a particularly good day.

    On the other hand, if said with just the right hint of sarcasm, it might suggest that someone really feels quite the opposite! (Or is that just me, lol?)

  • I think this one is my new favorite. It’s especially adorable paired with that shot.

  • love it. avoir la peche. quelle peche. je n’ais pas la peche. all wonderful expressions. thank you clotilde! (although apparently i cannot type in french since i don’t know how to find the essential punctuation on this computer). (je ne suis pas content).

  • marjolaine

    Ça ne se dit vraiment pas au Québec !

  • Having a peach always makes ME feel better!

  • Hmm, I suppose there might be times when having the peach would really er, take the cake!!

  • I am definitely working this into conversation today.

  • Makes total sense to me. How can one be remotely pessimistic in regards to a pear?

    I’d love to know what camera you use for these wonderful pictures and if the effect could be recreated with a digital camera. It would very much help me in my project where I paint food from life or photograph (photograph if they cannot keep the freshness as long as it takes me to paint).

  • Another one to pack away…

  • Alix

    Clotilde, is “eh ben” supposed to be “eh bien”? Otherwise I’m completely confused! Also, how would you translate “dis-donc”? I know what is means literally (more or less), but the expression escapes me… oh, and to comment on an earlier post, I love that “Happy Spring” translates to “Pretty Spring”!

  • Melly

    Well, I’m feeling peachy keen on this sunny day in the Netherlands!

  • Merci, Clotilde.
    Just discovered this ‘edible idiom’ series…very interesting.

    ‘avoir la patate’, ‘avoir la frite’, ‘avoir la banane’ – I thought these very funny and the last, well, highly suggestive!

  • Thanks again, this one made me smile! Great series.

  • Mariya – The polaroid effect on the photo is obtained by the grace of an application called Poladroid.

    Alix – You’re absolutely right, “eh ben” is the spoken version of “eh bien.” As for “dis-donc” (which means more or less “tell me”), it is an interjection that can express several things, depending on the tone: surprise, wonder, emphasis, irony, mockery, irritation… The final “c” can be pronounced frankly, or almost swallowed (as in the recording), or completely mute.

  • I love it – a very fresh expression to use during this fresh spring season!

  • jimbo_g

    Just as an aside, we have been introducing “I’ve got the potato” (J’ai la patate) into England, with varying success!

    I’ve always thought that “being full of beans” is a pretty good translation.

  • Paul Wichert

    when you make reference to the peach. we say “that will put the red in the cheeks” suggesting a healthy glow from activity

  • Lon

    Clotilde, bless you for the posts you make to Edible Idiom. I have been addicted to languages my whole life and love this feature. I am a native speaker of that language spoken in the United States that claims to be English (hahahaha!) and am fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. But my French is not good because I have not lived for some time in France yet. That is only how I learn a language. When I travel in France, my French causes much merriment and laughter, and since I like to make people laugh, I am okay with that!

  • Edfromfrance


    I’m french and I find this series very useful to understand the equivalents of our idioms :)

    I just want to stress that, as a french, «avoir la banane» means more «smilling, grining from ear to ear» which may imply being happy, obviously but isn’t exactly the same. Easy way to remember it : a banana has the same shape as a wide smile. (sort of)

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