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i just heard the song and looked up the meaning.  it means to hobble along and the only example i saw was "marcher clopin clopant."  is it used figuratively?  example: "how are things?"  "oh, i'm hanging in there."  if things aren't going well could you just answer "clopin clopant" or "je vais clopin clopant." merci d'avance.  

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It is rather a physically  descriptive expression ,don't you feel ?

I am not sure if it would even be used in everyday speech. That is just my feeling 'I have mo direct experience of its use.

« Clopin clopant »  is very rare. Its main meaning is « hobblingly » literally. Hence « Je vais clopin clopant » will be first understood as « J’avance en boîtant » (and people will also wonder why do you use that expression). Figurative use is possible too, as in « Le système fonctionne clopin clopant... », but it's  even rarer. 

Hello,

 it can be used figuratively in some contexts : le commerce va clopin clopant 

meaning that something is uneven.

There is another expression quite similar: cahin-caha: les affaires vont cahin-caha (not going well)

for someone we'd rather say: ça va couci-couça

This site?

We get contributions perhaps once a week or sometimes once a month, So "clopin clopant " might describe it ;)

"cahin-caha" and "couci-couça"  are new to me (and quite unexpected) .

yes you could describe a web site being "clopin clopant"!

couci-couça comes from the Italian "coci cosi" and would be rendered into English by "so so"

You can also say "ça va comme ci comme ça"

I think that "cahin caha" was first used by Rabelais ans is supposed to stem from the latin locution 'que hinc que hac'

How do you say "live and learn" in French ?   :)

It would be " On en apprend tous les jours" or  " je me coucherai moins bête ce soir"  (I'll be less dumb whenI go to bed tonight) or more colloquial je serai moins con ce soir

you also have a variant version: je mourrai moins bête (I 'll die less stupid)

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