Isabelle from the series La Galère is a lawyer. In her personal life, she likes things to be in order. She’s very concerned with what people think of her — she’s always dressed professionally when she goes out, even when she’s not working. Isabelle never relaxes.
But then, one day, she meets a new man. He rides a motorbike, he’s rough on the edges, and Isabelle thinks he may even be a criminal. But she’s intrigued and, although she doesn’t let on, she’s attracted to him.
Try to picture these two different personality types: one, an uptight lawyer who never relaxes; the other, a rough guy who rides a motorbike, someone who maybe has a “past.”
In a scene where this new guys stops by Isabelle’s house on his motorbike, Isabelle puts forward her usual inhibited self — she doesn’t like that he’s stopped by without notice, and she doesn’t like motorbikes. She lets him know that she’s not impressed (even though we suspect that she’s secretly happy to see him). To tease Isabelle about how uptight she is, he says:
T’as l’air pognée.
[Said by a biker (un motard) in La Galère, season 4, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 24 October 2011.]
When you come across new expressions in French, you can use Google or another search engine as a guide. Imagine that you’ve come across the expression avoir l’air pogné for the first time. Using Google, you can search for variations of this expression to see what you come up with. If you put your search terms between quotation marks, you’ll search for those exact words in that exact order.
As an example, you can type “as l’air pogné” (with quotation marks) into Google and find these examples:
Sois plus à l’aise au mic*, t’as l’air pogné.
T’es pas drôle en personne, t’as l’air pogné.
You can try the same experiment with different expressions that you’re learning. You can usually find good examples that help you to deepen your understanding. Just be aware that you’ll probably find lots of spelling mistakes in online forums!
Then you can start to use the expression in combination with other ones that you already know. For example, avoir l’air pogné + sur une photo:
T’as l’air pogné sur cette photo.
Were you able to infer the meaning of the expression avoir l’air pogné without needing a translation into English? (If not, you can check out the comments section.)
* mic = mike (i.e., microphone)
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