vivre à tes crochets

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.

10:11 Jul 10, 2018
French to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
French term or phrase: vivre à tes crochets
"Vivre aux crochets de quelqu'un" means living at someone else's expense, but I was wondering if it can ever be used to mean something more figurative, as in "I live for you" or something like that. Or if it is only ever used to refer to relying on someone else for physical needs or expenses.
Roberta Beyer
United States
Local time: 17:01

Summary of answers provided
5 +8to live off someone else (financially, materially)
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
4 +4I'm dependent on you
Tony M
4to sponge off someone else
Barbara Cochran, MFA

Discussion entries: 4



3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
to sponge off someone else

This is the most informal way we express it here in the US.

We also call it "freeloading".

Barbara Cochran, MFA
United States
Local time: 18:01
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
vivre aux corchets de quelqu'un
to live off someone else (financially, materially)

The short anwer to your question is no.

"Au début du XVIIe siècle, on utilisait l'expression "être sur les crochets de quelqu'un", qui signifiait "être sur le dos de quelqu'un", dans le sens d'y "être suspendu, en dépendre". La forme actuelle, elle, est apparue au début du XIXe siècle, et signifie toujours que l'on dépend de quelqu'un financièrement et matériellement."

Note added at 20 mins (2018-07-10 10:31:46 GMT)

"To live off someone else" is already fairly figurative. It's close to the French idiom of hanging on to someone else. It means being dependent on someone else and often has a negative inference.

"To live for someone else" means something completely different.

Note added at 4 hrs (2018-07-10 14:56:00 GMT)

See discussion post.

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 00:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 107

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  irat56
1 hr

agree  ormiston: agree with your comments also
2 hrs

agree  Evelyne Trolley de Prévaux
2 hrs

agree  Victoria Britten
3 hrs

agree  writeaway
3 hrs

neutral  Yvonne Gallagher: rather blunt and is unlikely to be admitted by the person doing so...
3 hrs
  -> It is rather blunt, I agree; so is the French. It almost always have negative overtones. I think there is a reason this self-critical term has been used, which leads me to think the bluntness needs to be retained if the EN is to be faithful to the FR. ;-)

agree  Charles Davis: I entirely agree about the bluntness. Normal expectations don't apply here. This is almost self-flagellation. She hates herself for the way she behaves and hates feeling so guilty about it.
4 hrs
  -> Yes, self-flagellation is it here, particularly given the context from the other question.

neutral  Tony M: I agree in principle with your arguments, but I think this actual expression is unfortunate, it sounds like a pimp talking about one of his 'girls' — "living off immoral earnings" etc.
4 hrs
  -> Haha! The fact remains that the choice is deliberate and the expresssion has been chosen by the person herself, which makes it all the more poignant.

agree  GILOU
18 hrs

agree  E Gootjes
22 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
I'm dependent on you

I think that's a good way of maintianing the ambiguity in EN, as well as fitting with what your context goes on to say "...and I need you — more than you need me."

It also ties in nicely with the "codependent" that follows...

Note added at 5 hrs (2018-07-10 15:29:18 GMT)

I think "dependent" is excatly the right word here, as she uses it in another place too; she is acknowledging that she is "needy" in an emotional sense, and possibly also in a material sense too

Tony M
Local time: 00:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 316

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Philippa Smith: I agree about finding a way to be ambiguous that avoids "I live off you", which I don't think fits the context tone-wise. Maybe "totally dependent on you".
26 mins
  -> Thanks, Philippa!

agree  B D Finch: I think this fits the context better than "I'm living off you", which is a bit blunt.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, B!

agree  Yvonne Gallagher: I'm so dependant on you... (fits tone better)
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Yvonne!

neutral  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: With the addditional post, maybe; but not with the previous post. It is unusual for someone to use it about him/herself. The choice suggests that the person is not proud, bringing h/self down, self-critical. She is not "nice" about h/s in previous post.
3 hrs
  -> That's exactly what I was seeking to convey: she is aware of the fact that she is depnddent on him, and obviously isn't entirely happy about that situation.

agree  Michele Fauble
6 hrs
  -> Merci, Michele !

neutral  Daryo: in the sense of "clinging to you"? maybe.
14 hrs
  -> Thanks, Daryo! Yes, i think the beauty of this expression is that it covers all these possibilities, in a simlilar way to the FR; thus it remains midly ambiguous and open to interpretation, which in view of the lack of context is probably wise.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

KudoZ™ translation help

The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.

See also:

Your current localization setting


Select a language

Term search
  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search