Pardon my French!


At school, in group classes or private lessons, we learn proper French, the French of Molière and Victor Hugo.
But the French people don’t always speak such a romantic French. If you plan on spending time with locals during your next vacation in Paris or on the French Riviera, maybe you will need to learn a bit more.

Here are a few examples of the most common slang used  by French people today.

Words:

  • Salut = hi
  • c’est un mec bien = He’s a good guy / C’est mon mec = He is my boyfriend
  • une meuf = a girl  /  C’est ma meuf = She is my girlfriend
  • acheter de la bouffe =  to get food.  /  On va bouffer où ? = Where do we eat?
  • avoir du fric / du pognon / du  blé. = to have money.
  • aller au taff = to go to my work  /   taffer =  to work
  • une caisse ?  =  a car?
  • un con = a stupid person (as an insult)
  • Je kiffe cette chanson = I love that song

Expressions:

  • J’ai la dalle = I’m hungry
  • on va boire un coup? = Let’s get a drink?  /  Je te paye un coup = I’ll buy you a drink
  • avoir la crève = to be sick
  • y’a moyen de me prêter 5 euros? = Can you lend me 5 euros?
  • Pas de soucis = No problem
  • Ce film est trop long, genre 3h20… = This movie is too long, like 3h20m.
  • C’est mort = No way.
  • C’est cool = That’s cool, or that’s fun
  • Ça marche = Ok, let’s do it.
  • Ça craint = it sucks.
  • T’as une clope (cigarette) = Do you have a cigaret?

The Verlan

(This is a special kind of slang created by switching the order of the syllables in a word.)

  • C’est chelou (louche) = It’s weird
  • C’est relou (lourd) = It’s annoying
  • C’est ouf (fou) = It is crazy
  • Il est un peu teu-bé = He is a bit dumb.

With that short glossary, you should be able to understand the French people at late night parties. With that said, even if it is interesting to know those words, we do not recommend using them… It’s better to stay with your old fashion, basic French.

Of course we can’t make a complete list, that would be too long (and not so useful). But, if you hear or read some slang that you don’t understand, share it with us, we will try to explain what it means!

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