Lucky and inspiring veins

I discovered yesterday that one way to say that someone is lucky in French is to say that they avoir de la veine (‘have of the vein’). I’m not sure why veins are associated with luck. Does anybody know.

Veine also means seam and inspiration.

Other expressions featuring veine and related words include:

- veiné = veined
- dans la même veine = in the same vein
- veine dramatique = dramatic inspiration
- veine poétique = poetic inspiration
- veine porte = portal vein
- veine poétique = poetic inspiration
- veine de cocu / veine de pendu = great deal of luck
- veine d’air = current of air
- veinard {n} = lucky beggar/dog
- veinard {adj} = fluky; jammy
- Sacré veinard ! = You jammy bugger!

Are there equivalents of veinard in other languages?

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This entry was posted in English, Etymology, French, Language, Words and phrases.

3 Responses to Lucky and inspiring veins

  1. JJM says:

    “I’m not sure why veins are associated with luck. Does anybody know.”

    Quite simple really.

    It goes back to prospecting and mining: if you’re a miner and you discover a gold vein, you’re obviously very lucky. The figurative “avoir de la veine” takes off from there.

    You’ve struck gold, as it were.

  2. pittmirg says:

    In Polish “żyłka” (lit. little vein) means sth like “passion” or “inclination”. E.g. żyłka podróżnicza – wanderlust, travelling bent

  3. spl0uf says:

    I’d just like to point out that the “de la” in “avoir de la veine” does not mean “of the”, it just means “some”, or an undetermined amount. Sort of how “To drink water” translates to “boire de l’eau”, which doesn’t mean “to drink of the water”.

    Avoir de la veine = To have vein.