matelas (mat lah) noun, masculine
related: sommier (box spring), surmatelas (pillow top), matelassé,e (quilted, padded)
cacher son argent/ses économies sous un matelas =
to hide money/savings beneath the mattress
retourner son matelas (côte hiver, côte été) =
to turn over one's mattress (winter side, summer side)
protéger le matelas avec une alèse =
to protect a mattress with a mattress cover
You may listen to the above idioms here. Feel free to add more terms & expressions in the comments box.
I am currently reading and being riveted by Victor Hugo's Le Dernier Jour d'un Condamné (The Last Day of a Condemned Man) Read it in French or in English.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
For several months now, I've had the sneaking suspicion that our mattress is on its last leggy box spring. Unlike other worn-out items, which give a clear sign when they need replacing (the coffee machine malfunctions, the computer crashes...)—unlike these obvious indices—a mattress doesn't break. It will live on for as long as the user will tolerate the torture of coil springs and nightly flings.
Flings! I'm talking about "the trampoline effect" or what happens when you've a threateningly threadbare matelas and your husband decides to turn over—as he will nine times each night.
To a mattress martyr such as yourself, the turning over of a spouse or a partner on a paltrily padded mattress sets into motion a series... of sauts (think of so many mattress springs from which you are separated but by a few strings!). One minute you are dreaming of flying and the next—tu voles, véritablement!
Just like moods, an old mattress has its ups and downs, literally des hauts et des bas. We've just read about the ups (triggered by a turning or shifting spouse); as for the "downs", they occur midpoint between his (or her) side of the bed and your side, wherein runs a valley deep as the Rhone. You are fine as long as you cling to the hillside that is your own upper half of the mattress. But should you nod off at night... you might roll right down to the middle of the mattress, nose-to-nose with your miserable mattress mate.
The upside of an old mattress is being able to count—with the backs of your thighs—all the coins hidden just beneath. And if the mattress is really old and thin, you can even read your diary (should it be deeply penned).
So, remember, the next time you recline... and can feel a dime... that's a sure sign of mattress decline!
un indice = sign, indication
le matelas = mattress
le saut = jump, leap
tu voles, véritablement! = you fly, truly!
des hauts et des bas = highs and lows
LE JEUX DE CARTES. 15-year-old Max (above, right) and friend, Edouard.
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