Tu ramènes toujours tes complexes ethniques, pour un oui ou pour un non, dans toutes les discussions, même les plus anodines.

  • {literally}: You always dredge up some complex about your ethnic origin, be it for a yes or a no, in virtually all discussions, even of the most harmless nature.

  • {more naturally}: You always dredge up some complex about your ethnic origin at the drop of a hat in virtually all discussions, even of the most harmless nature.

This hyperbolic expression is used to refer to someone's annoying tendency to insist on doing something with no apparent rhyme or reason, as if on a whim.

Pleurer, c'est un truc de fille à ses yeux, comme si elles avaient le droit de pleurer pour un oui ou pour un non.

  • The way he sees it, crying is a girls' thing -- as if they had every right to shed tears over any little thing.

How is this idea commonly/idiomatically expressed in Russian?

3 Answers 3


I think чуть что would fit best here:

В любом разговоре, даже самом невинном, ты, чуть что, начинаешь бередить свои комплексы по поводу пятой графы

Как по нём, плач — девчачья тема, им, типа, можно чуть что — и в слёзы.

  • @Con-gras-tue-les-chiens О комплексах - к месту и не к месту, о слёзах - по любому поводу, из-за каждого пустяка, actually чуть что is quite good here. Again - we probably need slightly more detailed context, I think.
    – tum_
    Jun 16, 2019 at 18:11
  • Hi. Interestingly, "чуть что" in the following instance cannot translate as "pour un oui ou pour un non", even if you offered "at the drop of a hat" as a possible translation. russian.stackexchange.com/questions/17747/… Given that "pour un oui ou pour un non" is only used in negative contexts, maybe it overlaps the meaning of "чуть что" only partially. Jun 16, 2019 at 18:17
  • @Con-gras-tue-les-chiens: And the goode wyf answerde, that she coude speke no frenshe
    – Quassnoi
    Jun 16, 2019 at 19:39

pour un oui ou pour un non

[По поводу и без.]
[По поводу и без.] is the short version of the full [По поводу и без повода.]

maybe it overlaps the meaning of "чуть что" only partially

[Чуть что] is [at the drop of a hat]

But when you use [at the drop of a hat] in your translation of [pour un oui ou pour un non] I feel, that you are wrong. I can not prove it, because I do not speak any French.

How are "в случае чего" and "чуть что" nuanced?

Unfortunatelly, noone told you the truth about real difference between

[чуть что] vs [в случае чего].

[в случае чего] means [in case of something]
[чуть что] means [in case of anything at the first slightlest sign of the case]

[чуть что] is the short version for the full [хотя бы чуть-чуть что-нибудь].

[чуть-чуть] = [the slightlest part] or ideomatically [a drop]

  1. [в случае чего] does not mean, that you must react at the first sigh of danger. You can wait and try to solve the problem yourself or ask someone else.
    Usually by [в случае чего] they mean backup tool for solving the problem, so called Plan B.
    [Call me в случае чего] means [you can count on me, but I hope, that you can solve your problems yourself.]

  2. [чуть что] does mean, that at any even slightlest sign or evidence of problem, you must contact the sayer of this words.
    Usually by [чуть что] they mean the main tool for solving the problem, so called Plan A or the Main Plan or just Plan.
    [Call me чуть что] means [you must call me as your first reaction for appearence of the problem, even if there is no problem and you just felt that something is not all right.]

Can we [чуть что] translate as [по поводу и без.]?
No, of course no.
Because [чуть что] must have [повод] = [reason] = [sigh of problem].
[По поводу и без повода] reaction is allowed in any case, if there is [повод] or even there is no [reason].

[По поводу и без.] has negative feeling as in French.

[чуть что] and [в случае чего] have nothing negative, but they have some feeling of problem solving, which can be considered as positive.


Ни с того, ни с сего 'without a reason, on a whim'.

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