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D’abord on travaille deux fois plus selon un horaire très serré, puis la commission à Tokyo pour laquelle on galère tant est reportée au mois prochain. Il ne manquait plus que ça !

  • First, we were struggling to cope with the heavy workload on a seriously tight schedule, and then the very committee meeting we were working so hard for has been put off until next month. That was the only thing missing (that we needed)!

I just said this in conversation in French, and I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in Russian. This French expression comes in handy when you want to say ironically that something even more aggravating just happened to you on top of other problems you were already dealing with, as if they weren't enough of a headache. This is where you can equally say "C'est le bouquet!" ironically in the sense of "This just puts the tin lid on it".

"Только этого не хватало!" came to mind as its Russian equivalent, but my girlfriend suggested an interesting expression "Не было печали". Given its literal meaning, I wonder how it gets to mean something like "That was the only thing missing (that we needed)".

All in all, how is this idea commonly/idiomatically expressed in Russian?

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  • только этого не хватало is used in relation to an adverse circumstance which is either about to obtain or whose effect hasn't yet been felt, it's not used after the fact as a reflection on such circumsance, so here it doesn't fit – Баян Купи-ка Jun 7 '19 at 15:25
  • basically не было печали is used in the same vein – Баян Купи-ка Jun 7 '19 at 15:43
  • Не было печали, да черти накачали – Elena Jun 7 '19 at 16:37
  • There is an ironic expression "для полного счастья только этого и не хватало". – AR. Jun 12 '19 at 6:52
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I'd think it would be в довершение всех бед.

It seems though that you're looking for a complete idiom (поговорка) which could be used alone, and this one does not work like this, but I think it fits otherwise:

Сперва мы еле-еле управляемся с тяжёлой нагрузкой в крайне сжатые сроки, а потом, в довершение всех бед, то самое заседание, к которому мы пытались успеть, переносят на следующий месяц.

There's also an expression вишенка на торт ("icing on the cake", literally "cherry on the cake") which can be used both in direct and ironic sense, however the ironic sense is not that idiomatic. You can still come across its usage in ironic sense though:

Окна плохо закрываются, в том числе балконная дверь, от этого в квартире довольно прохладно. Ну и вишенкой на торт, что у выключателей света нет клавиш.

As for you original proposals: не было печали would imply that everything was ok up to this moment, so it clearly doesn't fit here.

Только этого не хватало implies something you have to cope with (in addition to whatever you already have on your plate), but, apparently, that's not the case in your situation: the meeting has been postponed, so naturally you're sad but at least you don't have to work as hard anymore.

If postponing the meeting somehow means more work for you, then только это не хватало is a good fit.

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  • worth noting that it's not a particularly vernacular phrase – Баян Купи-ка Jun 7 '19 at 17:33
  • Hi. Ideally, I'm looking for an ironic turn of phrase. Both "Il ne manquait plus que ça" and "C'est le bouquet!", taken literally, makes it sound as if a good thing has just happened that takes the cake. And it's only with an ironic interpretation that these expressions carry a negative connotation of something even more aggravating being added to a heap of piled-up problems. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jun 7 '19 at 19:07
  • Given the word "бед", I get the impression that "в довершение всех бед" is a rather straightforward expression without a hint of irony and therefore closer to "pour couronner le tout" or "pour en rajouter une couche" that correspond to "to top it all off" in English. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jun 7 '19 at 19:09
  • @Con-gras-tue-les-chiens yes it IS straightforward but it seems the only Russian expression which suits such a situation – Баян Купи-ка Jun 7 '19 at 21:29
  • @Quassnoi [в довершение всех бед] is a great wording, but she is looking the final ta-dam!, not something you can put in the middle of the text. – Tchibi-kun Jun 11 '19 at 19:19
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There are 2 phrases with similar meanings: more literary из огня да в полымя and ruder не понос, так золотуха. However, they suggest that you escaped (or tried to escape) a bad situation and ended up in worse.

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  • Your options are really great, but considering of what she is seaching for, it is better to add [в общем] or [короче] before, them. For example: and then the very committee meeting we were working so hard for has been put off until next month. [В общем, не понос, так золотуха]. And to my feeling the first one [из огня да в полымя] is about danger, but not about problem. The second one [не понос, так золотуха] is 100% match to what she is looking for. – Tchibi-kun Jun 11 '19 at 19:23
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First, we were struggling to cope with the heavy workload on a seriously tight schedule, and then the very committee meeting we were working so hard for has been put off until next month. That was the only thing missing (that we needed)!

First of all, [Только этого не хватало!] is 100% "official" phase for that case.
I do not understand why you are not satisfied with that option.
It is contemporary, widely used, well known phrase.

Update

Only now in comments I've noticed, that you are interested not in translating [Il ne manquait plus que ça], but in translating [C'est le bouquet!].
Strange, that you have not put [C'est le bouquet!] to the title of your quesiton.


As I understand you are interested in territory of jargon.

It depends on the region of Russia.
But where I live, it is Urals, 2000 km east from Moscow.
For this case we have 3 options

1.

[Контрольный выстрел в голову.] means a head shot which killer does from the gun to have 100% guaranty that the object is really killed.

Example.

On the exam day my alarm clock got broken and I overslaped, missed the breakfast. I got C on exam because I got the only question from a list of 80 questions which the have not studied. I've studied 79, but not this one. I got back home only to find out that my beloved cat had died today. [Контрольный выстрел в голову.]

2.

[Короче, приехали...] [В общем, приехали...]
means [we have come] or [we have finally arrived to place...]

On the exam day my alarm clock got broken and I overslaped, missed the breakfast. I got C on exam because I got the only question from a list of 80 questions which the have not studied. I've studied 79, but not this one. I got back home only to find out that my beloved cat had died today. [Короче, приехали...]

3.

[Короче, тушите свечи...] [В общем, тушите свечи...]
means, [put out candles]

On the exam day my alarm clock got broken and I overslaped, missed the breakfast. I got C on exam because I got the only question from a list of 80 questions which the have not studied. I've studied 79, but not this one. I got back home only to find out that my beloved cat had died today. [В общем, тушите свечи...]


Bonus track

On the exam day my alarm clock got broken and I overslaped, missed the breakfast. I got C on exam because I got the only question from a list of 80 questions which the have not studied. I've studied 79, but not this one. I got back home only to find out that my beloved cat had died today. [Одним словом, денёк типа зашибись...]

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In a very conversational manner, a kinda street parlance, you may say:

"Если пиздец -- так уж полный."

or, shorter:

"Пиздец -- так уж полный."

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  • Just for the recored: [пиздец] is a word prohibited by law. Well, it is not prohibited, but if you use it in public, you will be fined by police for a fee of 500 to 1000 rubles that is (7 to 15 USD). If police does not hear, you can use it. But anyway, it is considered to be the bad and dangerous word. Personally I do use it, but I think twice about risks around me in the situation. – Tchibi-kun Jun 12 '19 at 21:50

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