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Donner le bâton pour se faire battre.

English translation: Make a rod for one's own back

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11:33 Mar 21, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
French term or phrase: Donner le bâton pour se faire battre.
I have a list of expressions with no context and cannot find the English equivalent for this one.
tamaraschuster
Local time: 07:16
English translation:Make a rod for one's own back
Explanation:
Seems like the best equivalent to me.
Selected response from:

Olli Leroy
Other
Local time: 07:16
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +14Make a rod for one's own back
Olli Leroy
4 +7Give (someone) a stick to beat you with/Make a rod for one's own back
Martin Cassell
4 +6Make a rod for your own backCharlie Bavington
4 +1Be the cause of your own downfall
Conor McAuley
3 +2Provide the cane that will give you the thrashing
Miranda Joubioux
3 +2like turkeys voting for Christmas
Angela Dickson
3Go Cut Down your own Switchkipruss3


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +14
Make a rod for one's own back


Explanation:
Seems like the best equivalent to me.

Olli Leroy
Other
Local time: 07:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in DutchDutch
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: yup !
1 min
  -> Thanks

agree  Martin Cassell: we seem to have "crossed in transit" with the same idea!
3 mins
  -> Happens a lot here :-)

agree  Jennifer White
8 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  Najib Aloui
8 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  writeaway: literal equivalent
22 mins

agree  Carol Gullidge: I see now, this makes more sense!
28 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  juliebarba
38 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  AllegroTrans
51 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  jean-jacques alexandre: althought I'm sure I've come across another one, which eludes me at the moment, yours is mighty good
2 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  Jacqui Audouy
2 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Angela Dickson
3 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Gacela20
3 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Olga Cartlidge
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Olga.

agree  Swatchka
1 day4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Swatchka
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
Give (someone) a stick to beat you with/Make a rod for one's own back


Explanation:
I know more or less this phrase with "verge" rather than "bâton"

Martin Cassell
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 43

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: yup, either one :-)
1 min
  -> thanks Charlie

agree  katsy: either one, I agree
3 mins
  -> thanks Katsy

agree  Najib Aloui
7 mins
  -> thnaks Najib

agree  AllegroTrans
50 mins
  -> thanks!

agree  xxxBourth: But sensitive people might prefer to avoid "verge" because of other meanings.
1 hr
  -> Indeed (you're such a gentleman). Thanks, Bourth.

agree  Angela Dickson: don't see why you only gave a 'neutral' to Boekstaaf and Charlie - they're right too!
3 hrs
  -> Thanks Angela. And thanks too for the nudge on etiquette (hadn't paid enough attention to notice it was the same Charlie who gave me an agree) Will rectify right now!

agree  Ingeborg Gowans
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ingeborg.
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
Make a rod for your own back


Explanation:
i.e. do something which can be used against you in future, put very generally.

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 07:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Martin Cassell: well it's certainly a popular answer!
3 mins

agree  katsy: yea agree with this too/well actually meant 'yes' though the yea has an olde-worlde touch
3 mins

agree  Karen Stokes
6 mins

agree  AllegroTrans
51 mins

agree  Angela Dickson
3 hrs

agree  Olga Cartlidge
7 hrs
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Provide the cane that will give you the thrashing


Explanation:
I like the word thrashing, which is often used in a company context (such and such a company has taken a thrashing).
However, it's still a little literal. I'm just throwing a few ideas into the pot.

Miranda Joubioux
Local time: 08:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  cjohnstone
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Catherine

agree  Olga Cartlidge
6 hrs
  -> Thanks Olga
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
like turkeys voting for Christmas


Explanation:
might not be an exact equivalent, but it was the first thing that sprang to mind!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2007-03-21 11:39:44 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

'handing them a stick to beat you with' would be a more literal rendering.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-03-21 12:40:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

ok, first instincts probably not right here! Oh well.

Angela Dickson
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: 'handing them a stick to beat you with'
26 mins

agree  Melzie: 'handing them a stick to beat you with' but I'd use the turkeys if I could :)
1 hr
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Go Cut Down your own Switch


Explanation:
I'm only learning to translate French, i just thought i'd pass along my father's favorite idiom he used on us, (literally and physically, hehe), since it is quite "flavorful" of the old south.

"go out and collect your switch". "go cut down a nice green switch". Nice dad, huh. ;-)

kipruss3
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Be the cause of your own downfall


Explanation:
Tough competition, here's another option perhaps.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2007-03-21 16:21:52 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

No-one but yourself to blame

Conor McAuley
France
Local time: 08:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Olga Cartlidge
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Olga!
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