Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Faire boule de neige


How do I translate faire boule de neige into English?


The Collins Robert bilingual dictionary gives to snowball for faire boule de neige. This is a good place to start, but there are other possibilities. They range from the plain to the fancy, so you can choose the one that best fits your context and writing style.

Here's my list of suggested translations: catch on fire, gather momentum, grow rapidly, have a ripple effect, have a snowball effect, snowball, spread like wildfire.

For example,

  • l'idée a fait boule de neige
    the idea caught on fire
  • la campagne de publicité a fait boule de neige
    the advertising campaign gathered momentum
  • le soutien à notre cause fait boule de neige
    support for our cause is growing rapidly
  • cela aurait pu faire un effet boule de neige
    this could have a ripple (or a snowball) effect
  • démontrer comment une mauvaise décision peut faire boule de neige
    show how a bad decision can snowball
  • les nouvelles ont fait boule de neige
    the news spread like wildfire

So whether it's good or bad news, you now have more than one way of expressing it.