arroseur de chrysanthème

English translation: just there for show/as decoration/just a pretty face/a token figure/window dressing

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:arroseur de chrysanthème
English translation:just there for show/as decoration/just a pretty face/a token figure/window dressing
Entered by: Jocelyne S

12:50 Jun 18, 2010
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
French term or phrase: arroseur de chrysanthème
The meaning is obvious, but I'm not sure of the best way to render this in EN. I've got a few ideas, but would be happy to hear from others.

Context is a quote from a union representative in an academic paper about workplace governance.

"On entend parfois dire des choses du genre : le représentant de la direction France, c'est plutôt un **arroseur de chrysanthème** qu'autre chose. C’est peut-être un peu exagéré comme formulation, mais c'est vrai que les représentants du personnel sont amenés à se dire que ce n’est pas là que ça se passe."

Best,
Jocelyne
Jocelyne S
France
Local time: 11:50
just there for show/as decoration
Explanation:
To start the ball rolling, as I'm sure it will.
Selected response from:

B D Finch
France
Local time: 11:50
Grading comment
Many thanks to all of you. It's always difficult to award points for such a subjective question. I don't think that there was any death, All Saints' Day or other subliminal meanings beyond the fact that it's quite useless to water chrysanthemums on a regular basis.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +1just there for show/as decoration
B D Finch
2 +2just a pretty face
Travelin Ann
3doesn't have his eye on the ball/is out of touch (with reality)
Verginia Ophof
3several suggestions....
polyglot45
3a mock-manager
Sébastien GUITTENY
2token figure
Rachel Fell


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
just there for show/as decoration


Explanation:
To start the ball rolling, as I'm sure it will.

B D Finch
France
Local time: 11:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
Many thanks to all of you. It's always difficult to award points for such a subjective question. I don't think that there was any death, All Saints' Day or other subliminal meanings beyond the fact that it's quite useless to water chrysanthemums on a regular basis.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Isabelle17
5 hrs
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
just a pretty face


Explanation:
or just a figurehead

Both are used in US EN formulations

Travelin Ann
Local time: 05:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Claire N.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Clanola

agree  Vicky James: I like "figurehead"- along the lines of Sébastien's "mock" manager
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Vicky
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a mock-manager


Explanation:
Just a suggestion. Hope this helps.

Sébastien GUITTENY
France
Local time: 11:50
Native speaker of: French
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
token figure


Explanation:
just an idea of how it might be meant - perhaps serving a simple function, such as that of keeping the chrysanths. from drying out around the Fete des Morts, etc. (if that is done)?

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Note added at 2 hrs (2010-06-18 15:20:22 GMT)
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Fête, of course.

Rachel Fell
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
several suggestions....


Explanation:
a penpusher
a straw man
a stuffed shirt
a lightweight
an empty vessel
a stooge
window-dressing
a "nothing" man
the epitome of the Peter Principle (or the PP personified)
a puppet (in the sense that his strings are pulled by others in another country)

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Note added at 3 hrs (2010-06-18 16:13:56 GMT)
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I forgot - a nobody

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Note added at 3 hrs (2010-06-18 16:17:40 GMT)
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and more

a cipher
a nonentity

polyglot45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 42
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
doesn't have his eye on the ball/is out of touch (with reality)


Explanation:
I am tempted to interpret it this way as the following sentence is :

"mais c'est vrai que les représentants du personnel sont amenés à se dire que ce n’est pas là que ça se passe."

Verginia Ophof
Belize
Local time: 04:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
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