Garder la tête froide french expression

Hello again and welcome once more to “Expressions bien de chez nous”! 


We think that you may have an idea of what this expression means. Maybe the words “tête” et “froide” helped you solve the riddle, since it’s a phrase we use in other languages and that has the same meaning. But first, let’s take a look at the origins of this widespread expression!

Where does “garder la tête froide” find its origins ?

The expression  makes reference to a similar expression that is “garder son sang-froid”. “Garder” means to keep and “sang-froid” is simply cold-blood. Blood that runs through our veins is supposed to stay cold when we need to preserve our reasoning skills and self-testing. On the contrary, hot blood indicates losing control. 

So, this means…

Yes! “Garder la tête froide” and “Garder son sang-froid” have exactly the same meaning. You can use both phrases when you want to express the concept of staying calm, focused, lucid and coherent when facing a situation that demands these skills.

Some context

Imagine you are a father or a mother (if you are, no imagination needed). Your kid is playing in the house and you suddenly hear her cry loudly. You run to find them and see that she’s fallen down the stairs. What do you do? Even if you’re hurt, you must stay calm, “garder la tête froide”, check if everything’s alright and immediately call an ambulance if there’s something wrong.

Another example would be when you face a dangerous situation. Imagine that you’re walking down the street and someone tries to steal your purse or bag. Here you have to think of your integrity first, so you must “garder ta tête froide” and don’t act driven by emotions.

It is normally when we face dangerous or scary situations that we must “garder son sang-froid”. However, it applies when taking important decisions at work, with a family member or just regarding your future. In these cases, you have to try to keep your emotions down and think rationally.

How do you react to these kinds of difficult situations? Do you know a similar expression in your language(s)?

We have set up some quizzes so that you can better understand this expression. Just click below to access these quizzes.

Garder la tête froide french expression

Garder la tête froide french expression