Thursday, February 24, 2011

expression: qu'est-ce que c'est que ce beans?

What is this beans? Yes, the "this" is singular and the beans are plural with a definite "s" heard at the end. What does it mean? It's a handy expression for "what the heck is going on?" or "WTF?" but cuter, in my opinion! At first I thought it was something that Jean-Marc made up because he was attempting to mix French and English together and then I heard somebody say it on TV. When googling it I found two different spellings: beans and bins. I think it's meant to be the English word to give it a little exotic flair. Maybe we could start a new English saying: What the fromage? What the fondu? What the ficelle? What the filet mignon? You heard it here first!


  1. It just occurred to me that "bins" is also an English word! And of course with a French accent they are pronounced the same way. I think the bean reference is funnier and it does seem to be more common (at least according to Google!). What the haricot?

  2. love this! my son is studying French at university...I'm going to pass this along. He can impress his prof (or not!)

  3. Ok, so maybe I should do some research before making stuff up! I just found out that the correct spelling is either binz or bin's, which is meant to be short for the French word "cabinets". The expression was used in a French film "les visiteurs" but I don't know if that's where it was first used. Now - do you think that they are referring to cabinets in the toilet kind of way or the office/practice/study kind of way? I guess it's probably the former, which makes it less cute. I'm still liking the legume image, though!