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J’étais un casse coup avant

English translation: I used to be quite reckless

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:J’étais un casse coup avant
English translation:I used to be quite reckless
Entered by: Louise Etheridge
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13:40 Nov 18, 2013
French to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / colloquial expression
French term or phrase: J’étais un casse coup avant
This appears in the transcription of a documentary about accidents in the workplace:

J’étais un casse coup avant, on me l’a dit plusieurs fois.

Does it mean 'hot-headed/impetuous'? Or always being one step ahead?

Many thanks!
Louise Etheridge
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:41
I used to be quite reckless
Explanation:
This is a typo, the French term is "casse-cou", which means reckless, daredevil for a person or can mean dangerous for, e.g. a staircase.
Selected response from:

Bruce Bracken
France
Local time: 03:41
Grading comment
Many thanks for your help Bruce!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +5I used to be quite reckless
Bruce Bracken
4 +6I used to be reckless/a daredevil
Emma Paulay
3 +1I used to be a (real) wild man
siragui
4I was a careless worker before
kashew
4I was a liability before
Carol Gullidge


  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
I used to be quite reckless


Explanation:
This is a typo, the French term is "casse-cou", which means reckless, daredevil for a person or can mean dangerous for, e.g. a staircase.

Example sentence(s):
  • I used to be quite reckless when I was young

    Reference: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reckless
Bruce Bracken
France
Local time: 03:41
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Many thanks for your help Bruce!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Many thanks for your help Bruce!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  emiledgar
1 hr
  -> Thank you emiledgar

agree  katsy
1 hr
  -> Thank you katsy

agree  Bertrand Leduc
4 hrs
  -> Thank you Bertrand

agree  writeaway: works too but don't agree with 100% CL since it's certainly not the 'only' possible translation.
8 hrs
  -> Thanks writeaway

agree  Carol Gullidge: you seem to be the first to post this!
21 hrs
  -> Thank you Carol
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
J’étais un casse-cou avant
I used to be reckless/a daredevil


Explanation:
Please note I've corrected the spelling in my answer. It should be casse-cou. Presumably this guy used to take unnecessary risks until he received warnings.

Emma Paulay
France
Local time: 03:41
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 126
Notes to answerer
Asker: Many thanks for your help Emma!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lorraine Dubuc
12 mins
  -> Thanks, Lorraine.

agree  LauretteT
17 mins
  -> Thanks, Laurette.

agree  katsy
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Katsy.

agree  Verginia Ophof
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Verginia.

agree  writeaway: backed by most standard Fr-En dictionaries. It's not exactly an unusual term in everyday French.
3 hrs
  -> Yes, quite straightforward really. Thanks, writeaway.

agree  1045: Un 'casse-cou' is the correct spelling. Your translation is excellent.
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, 1045!
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
I was a careless worker before


Explanation:
i.e. accident-prone

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 29 minutes (2013-11-18 14:10:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

An extract:
Employers, workers and their organizations have changed their approach to health and safety from
a) Traditional - “careless worker” model to
b) HRM - “shared responsibility” model and as far as the trade union are concerned to
c) “employer” responsibility model

NB: I think reckless is too strong for a Health & Safety at Work context.


kashew
France
Local time: 03:41
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 74
Notes to answerer
Asker: Many thanks for your help Kashew!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  emiledgar: No, because casse-cou means reckless, if reckless is too strong, then so is casse-cou.
1 hr
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30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
J’étais un casse cou avant
I was a liability before


Explanation:
this way of expessing it sounds a little more natural in the context

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2013-11-18 14:56:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or

LOOSE CANNON

[Loose cannon definition, a person whose reckless behavior endangers the efforts or welfare of others]


Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:41
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 116
Notes to answerer
Asker: Many thanks for your help Carol!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  rachelha
2 hrs
  -> many thanks Rachel!

neutral  writeaway: definitely not a liability. the dictionaries all give lots of possible translations. don't know if it sounds 'more natural in the context' but it certainly sounds wrong./one can try to get away from literal but liability is really out of the ballpark
3 hrs
  -> If you're looking for a literal translation, then I agree that this certainly isn't it! It's really an extension of "risk taker". But I feel there has to be a slightly more natural way of saying 'used to be reckless', but maybe not!

disagree  Daryo: someone who is 'un casse-cou' puts only himself in danger
7 hrs
  -> Trouble is, this is about the workplace, and anyone who is reckless is quite likely to have a knock-on, unproductive effect all round - which is what I mean, loosely, by "liability"
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I used to be a (real) wild man


Explanation:
Since "casse-cou" is a bit colloquial, I'd go for a colorful register. (Just for fun.)

siragui
Local time: 03:41
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yolanda Broad: You're right. This is fun!
4 days
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (1): Nikki Scott-Despaigne


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Changes made by editors
Nov 18, 2013 - Changes made by writeaway:
Field (write-in)Accidents in the workplace » colloquial expression


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