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I heard the French expression “se garer comme un chacal" in the TV show Les Guignols de l'info a few years ago, meaning parking carelessly. Is there equivalent English expression?

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    I don't know any English expression along the lines of "park like an X" (nor do I see why the French think jackals in particular are bad at parking). I might say "Get the gangplank out!" if I'm a passenger and the driver has parked a long way from the kerb, but I doubt there are any specific well-known expressions matching the French one here. – FumbleFingers Jun 9 '14 at 21:12
  • I can think of a few expressions I've heard which take the form of "park like an X", but most of them are perjoratives as opposed to idioms... – Watercleave Jun 9 '14 at 21:37
  • @Watercleave Google concurs. – StoneyB Jun 9 '14 at 22:53
  • I might call it pulling a Lucille, but I think that's just me. – hairboat Jun 9 '14 at 23:28
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    I haven't watched this show. Out of context, I don't understand “se garer comme un chacal” to mean parking carelessly. I find the comparison with a jackal a bit strange here — it puts me in mind of the metaphor of someone driving around looking for an empty space like a jackal searches for a prey, but that's related to the availability of parking spaces rather than to an aspect of the personality of the person parking. Given the generic negative connotation of the jackal, this makes me think the driver is rushing to “steal” a spot from other contenders. (N.B. I'm a native French speaker.) – Gilles Jun 14 '14 at 21:04
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In British English there is the expression:

To do a Reginald Molehusband.

This is derived from an old Ministry of Information film of the 1970s. The MoI produced large numbers of short (2 or 3 minute) films trying to educate people in simple tasks. These were shown on television during advertising breaks and in cinemas before the main feature. It was eventually ridiculed into oblivion.

One such film showed a character, Reginald Molehusband, who couldn't park a car. Although the films have not been shown for decades, the expression remains. At least one of their films made a lasting impression.

  • Thanks, I would have loved to watch it but "Commissioned by the Central Office of Information, no copy of the film is known to still exist." :-/ – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 16 '14 at 14:04
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My best guess would be "to park like a madman". I don't know of many such English idioms.

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