Aucune idée

Hollande hasn't got a clue

Hollande hasn’t got a clue

I have no idea why French President François Hollande is making this face. It could be for any number of reasons.

Perhaps he’s reacting to a question about his popularity. Or lack of. It could be a response to his ex’s new book, in which Valérie Trierweiler casts aspersions not on his sexual prowess so much as his true sentiments towards the poor classes. Someone should have told her that living well is the best revenge, not writing about it. Then again, Hollande should have known that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

But I know what he meant. This face, and its expression, is familiar to anyone who’s ever lived in France. It’s the face fart, or universal expression for ‘aucune idée’ – I haven’t got a clue. And a clue is just what this fellow does not have, it seems, as his popularity slides further into oblivion.

It’s just one of several ways to speak French in sign language. Which gesture is your favorite?

I must confess to a certain penchant for the doigt d’honneur. And I’d be willing to bet it’s a certain former first lady’s too.


  1. Osyth · September 8, 2014

    I felt so sorry for Italy in the Berlusconi years … Mr Hollande is another league of laughable. As for gestures – I’m afraid I never grew up and still get pleasure out of sticking my tongue out to my own children’s eternal embarrassment 🙂

    • MELewis · September 8, 2014

      So true – the French can forgive their politicians for being unfaithful but not for being made an object of ridicule. And do keep sticking your tongue out!

  2. davidprosser · September 8, 2014

    I think half the politicians of Europe must be walking round with the ‘I haven’t got a clue’ face over popularity since most of them seem to be out of touch with what voters actually want and who they’re there to serve.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • MELewis · September 8, 2014

      The problem is that most of them have no notion of serving anyone but their own agenda. Cheers David! Bises xx

  3. Multifarious meanderings · September 8, 2014

    The “face fart”. Love it! I’m not sure which my favourite is. I hesitate between the waggling hand (the more it waggles when you are asking a plumber when he is coming to fix your tap, the less plausible it becomes) or the oh-so Gallic shoulder shrug.

    • MELewis · September 8, 2014

      The waggling hand, that’s a good one! Probably also indicates the price could very well go up if and when he does show up!

  4. Margo Lestz · September 8, 2014

    The “face fart” – that is so funny. Of course I am very familiar with this gesture but have never heard it called that. What a perfect description. 🙂

    • MELewis · September 8, 2014

      Not sure who coined that phrase but it is indeed apt.What’s even funnier is the French are so completely unembarrassed about accompanying the gesture with the sound!

  5. mindfulexpat · September 8, 2014

    I’ve seen the “face fart” many times but never heard it called this before! I love it! (And I’m working on perfecting mine!)

    • MELewis · September 8, 2014

      It ain’t pretty but it sure gets the message across! 🙂

  6. BigLizzy · September 8, 2014


    The “face fart”!! Hahahahaahahahahaha!! Love this post, my sweet Frenchie!

    At least in Europe, politicians (and others) admit that they haven’t got a clue. In America, the all-encompassing and relentless E G O eclipses any sign of weakness or humanity or low IQ.

    Politicians, all of them, are stupid and why we all keep voting for them is beyond me. Frankly, I’m embarrassed by this country and this current idiot President of ours as much as the French are disenchanted with Monsieur Hollande.

    We humans have made such a mess of everything. See? I am realistic (read: dour) enough to be truly French! 😉 I want to live there and put this American egoistic madness behind me. Kisses and hugs to you, mon ami. XOXO

    • MELewis · September 9, 2014

      Chère Lizzy, la belle France awaits! Thanks for your comments, inspired as ever. To be fair, I rather doubt Hollande was admitting to anything (other than being momentarily stymied by a ‘stupid’ question), and ego certainly plays a huge part in the pursuit of political and personal agendas in this country! Grosses bises xxx

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