ISO: French Idioms for "Masterpriece"

I know there are many idioms for “masterpiece”, but there is one French idiom I came across that I am trying to recall. I believe it literally means “life’s work”, and it may have “morte” in the phrase…kind of a backward use of the word that refers to death! To save you all some trouble, I know it is not raison d’etre, magnum opus, joie do vivre, or tour de force. Still, maybe someone in the SD audience can take a wild guess at the phrase that pays? Presently, it’s elusive with a certain…je ne sais quoi!

Chef d’oeuvre?

Pièce de résistance?

Magnum opus is Latin, and I think we can be sure it’s also not Tour de France or Soup du Jour. :slight_smile:

I was going to suggest chef d’oeuvre, but I see someone else already has.

In one, with the slight nitpick that it’s technically spelled *œuvre *- but it’s not even a character on azerty keyboards and I had to look up the ASCII code :o. In any event, even in written form I’d wager most French speakers forgot all about their "o, e dans l’o"s :p.

Taken literally it means something like “topping/crowning [of one’s] work”. A great, but not **the **best work of an artist would be an **œuvre majeure.

Yeah, French speakers forget to pronounce half of the vowels anyway, why would you need another one? (besides confusing even more the pesky foreigners trying to learn French :stuck_out_tongue: )

IIRC, Italian also has a word with a very similar meaning (capolavoro). I don’t know about Spanish or Portuguese.

Obra-prima in Portuguese.

As every non-Spanish speaking American who thinks he knows some Spanish knows, the equivalent word in Spanish is “El Masterpiece-o”.

Dear boy that is the heart, soul and function of French grammar and spelling. All of it. :slight_smile:

Prièce, n’est-ce pas?

Nope, it’s pièce.

“I’m taking French lessons. Today we studied final consonants.”

“You don’t say!”


I find that I can speak passable French by Speaking Spanish and making sure I drop the last syllable and slur the rest of it together.

I’m fluent in both…and you’re about half right. :stuck_out_tongue:

BONUS: Put a couple of marbles in your mouth and you’ve got Portuguese covered as well. :smiley:

Ug! It’ll come to me one fine day…years from now. In the meantime, que sera, sera! (And, yes, I realize “magnum opus” is Latin.)