take French leave

take French leave

make an unannounced or unauthorized departure

This expression stems from the custom prevalent in 18th-century France of leaving a reception or entertainment without saying goodbye to your host or hostess.


excuse my French = pardon my French

used to apologize for swearing – informal

French has been used since the late 19th century as a euphemism for bad language.

1992 - Angela Lambert - A Rather English Marriage - A loony can change a bloody toilet-roll, pardon my French.

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