Expression: Avoir le cafard
Meaning: to feel low, to be down in the dumps, to be depressed
Literal translation: to have the cockroach
Notes: The French word cafard, which is probably from Arabic kafr, miscreant, non-believer* has several meanings:
- a person who pretends to believe in God
It was the poet Charles Baudelaire, in Les Fleurs du mal, who first imbued cafard (and also spleen, incidentally) with the fourth meaning. So the French expression avoir le cafard isn’t related to cockroaches at all (even though it kind of makes sense – who wouldn’t feel bad about having cockroaches?)
Je ne peux pas me concentrer aujourd’hui – j’ai le cafard.
I can’t concentrate today – I’m depressed.