french expression Rouler (quelqu’un) dans la farine

Hello and welcome again to “Expressions bien de chez nous”! Today you’ll learn what it is to “Rouler dans la farine”. It sounds like fun but messy too…What can it be?

“Rouler dans la farine” means…

Formed by two main words “rouler” (to roll) and “farine” (flour), one may think it is a child’s game or something of the sort. However, we must take a look at the ancient meaning of “rouler” in order to understand this expression.

A bit of history

This expression appeared in the XIX century from the association of two terms. At the time, the verb “rouler” meant to trick someone. The term “farine” used to have multiple meanings and one of them was “belles paroles” (pretty words) and distorted arguments. 

In theater, the flour was equally used by actors in order to hide their faces and not be recognized. In this way, “être roulé dans la farine” (to be rolled in the flour by somebody) means to be tricked by the means of beautiful words.

Some examples

You either trick people “rouler quelqu’un dans la farine” or get tricked by someone “se faire rouler dans la farine par quelqu’un”. Sometimes, the second expression is shortened to just “se faire rouler”. Let’s see in which cases this can be used. 


  • J’ai trop payé pour cette bagnole pourrie. Je me suis fait rouler dans la farine! (I payed too much for this piece of junk car. I got ripped off!)
  • Il est malin Pierre, tu sais ce qu’il a fait? Il a convaincu sa copine de vendre son appartement. Il l’a roulée dans la farine, la pauvre! (Pierre is clever, do you know what he did? He tricked his girlfriend into selling her apartment, poor thing!)
  • Faites bien attention, on nous a invités ici pour qu’on ne porte pas plainte. Ils veulent gagner notre confiance pour ensuite nous rouler dans la farine! (Be careful, we were invited here so that we don’t file the complaint. They want to earn our trust to pull the wool over our eyes!)

Have you ever “roulé quelqu’un dans la farine? Have you ever been a victim of this trick? Let us know and share with us a similar expression in the language(s) you speak!

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

french expression Rouler (quelqu’un) dans la farine

french expression Rouler (quelqu’un) dans la farine