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Complete post:

Aug

20

2012

Il y a de quoi en perdre la boule !

It's enough to drive you crazy!

There is an episode in The Bourne Legacy, released recently in cinemas, where a laboratory technician 'flips (out)' and assassinates his colleagues.

It is a situation where the expression en perdre la boule would be apt. Depending on the context, en perdre la boule means to lose one's head, to lose one's mind, to flip (out), to go mad (temporarily), etc. Consider the following examples:

  • Les enfants sont très pénibles aujourd'hui, il y a de quoi en perdre la boule!
    Kids are very tiresome these days, they're enough to drive you crazy !
  • Entre les visiteurs et le téléphone, je ne peux pas travailler, j'en perds la boule.
    Between visitors and the phone, I cannot work: I'm going nuts/crazy.
  • Cet exercice d'algèbre est très ardu, j'en perds la boule.
    This algebra question is very difficult; I'm going crazy.

Finally, consider the following contribution to an online discussion following the 'red-carding' of Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup final of 2006 (following his head-butting of Italian opponent, Materazzi):

  • « Il ne faut jamais insulter la maman, la femme ou la soeur d’un Algérien ! Même en finale de coupe du monde, et devant des milliards de téléspectateurs, il en perd la boule ! »
    « You must never insult the mother, wife or sister of an Algerian! Even in the World Cup final in front of billions of viewers, he'll flip

En perdre la boule is synonymous with en devenir fou or en perdre la tête.

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