The Ultimate List of 231 French Slang Terms - Rosetta Stone (2023)


by Calli Zarpas

written by Calli Zarpas

Slang is one of the most important things to learn when you’re learning a new language, especially if you want to sound like a local. While textbooks and high school French lessons are great, it’s usually not until you find yourself in a restaurant or bar, or hanging out with young people in an actual French-speaking country that you start to learn how French people actually speak to one another.

You’ll start hearing words like genre, a filler word that is used in a similar way to how English speakers use “like,” or oué, a more casual way to say oui that is something like “yeah.” You’ll hear popular words like bagnole or caisse which both mean “car,” or la flemme, which is essentially laziness. The tough part about slang is that it is always changing, whether it’s changing from year to year, or city to city.

So, we decided to sit down with our friend Thomas, a 24-year-old native French speaker from Normandy, and ask him what slang words he really uses in his vocabulary. We found a huge French wiki article with hundreds of French slang terms, and we went through every word until we compiled a list of 231 slang words that Thomas, and other French people, actually use.

In this list you’ll find examples of verlan, a type of slang that switches the first and last syllables in a word. For example relou (re-lou) is one of the most common examples of verlan. It is the word lourd (lou-re-d), which means “heavy,” with its syllables reversed. When someone is relou, they’re annoying or unbearable. Lourd can still mean “unbearable” in it’s normal form, but saying relou instead of lourd changes the meaning to be both “unbearable” and “annoying.”

Before you dive in, just remember that French is a language that is spoken by over 80 million people in 29 countries around the world so no slang list can ever be perfect. Think of the words “hella” and “wicked” in English. They can both replace the word “very,” but they’re not usually used by the same people. The same goes with French. They have the words “archi” and “grave” that can both replace the word “very,” but their uses will change depending on where you are and the people you’re with.

  1. aller-retour (masculine) : a round of slaps on the face
  2. s’arracher : to leave (partir)
  3. à l’arrache : used to describe something that is poorly organized or that was done quickly or at the last minute
  4. assurer : to be competent in your domain
  5. bachoter : to work towards an exam, particularly the baccalauréat or the bac, the exam that French high schoolers take at the end of their senior year
  6. bachotage (masculine) : a form of preparation for an exam where you try to find tricks to learning things rather than studying smartly and properly
  7. baffe (feminine) : a slap (gifle)
  8. bagnole (feminine) : a car (voiture)
  9. bahut (masculine) : middle school or high school (collège or lycée)
  10. balais : a year (an, année)
  11. balaise : adjective used to describe someone who is strong or hefty (costaud)
  12. balance (feminine) : someone in your group who shares your secrets
  13. balancer : to denounce or report someone
  14. baltringue (feminine) : someone who is a coward and who doesn’t hesitate to run away where there are problems
  15. baraque (feminine) : a house (maison)
  16. barjo, barge : crazy (fou)
  17. barrer (se) : to leave (partir)
  18. baston (feminine) : a fight (bagarre)
  19. beauf (masculine) : this word comes from beau-frère, which means brother-in-law, and means something similar to a redneck or a hick and isn’t something you want to say to someone you don’t want to offend
  20. becqueter, becter : to eat (manger)
  21. bidasse (masculine) : a soldier (soldat)
  22. bide (masculine) : stomach (ventre)
  23. bidoche (feminine) : meat (viande)
  24. biffeton (masculine) : paper money (billet de banque)
  25. binouze (feminine) : beer (bière)
  26. blaireau (masculine) : someone who thinks they’re cool, but isn’t
  27. bled (masculine) : the countryside or a place that’s isolated or lost in the middle of nowhere
  28. blé (masculine) : money (argent)
  29. bleu (masculine) : a novice or an amateur (novice)
  30. boîte (feminine) : a company (entreprise)
  31. bol (masculine) : to be lucky used with the word “avoir” (e.g. avoir du bol)
  32. bombe, bombasse (feminine) : a pretty girl
  33. bordel (masculine) : a mess (but be careful with this one because it can also mean a whorehouse)
  34. bosser : to work (travailler)
  35. bouffer : to eat (manger)
  36. avoir les boules : to be jealous or bothered by something
  37. boulot (masculine) : work (travail)
  38. bourrer (être bourré ou se bourrer) : to be drunk (être ivre)
  39. bourre (feminine) (dans « être à la bourre ») : to be late (être en retard)
  40. bousiller : to break or kill (casser, tuer)
  41. braquer : to steal as a part of an armed robbery
  42. buter : to kill (tuer)
  43. cabot (masculine) : dog (chien)
  44. cadavre (masculine) : an empty bottle
  45. cafard (masculine) : melancholy
  46. caisse (feminine) : car (or more rarely, fart)
  47. cailler : to be cold (avoir froid)
  48. calculer : to predict the reaction of someone
  49. calendos (masculine) : another word for the cheese camembert
  50. camelote (feminine) : an adjective to describe something that isn’t quality work
  51. caoua (masculine) : coffee (café) (sometimes written kawa)
  52. canner : to die (mourir)
  53. canon : pretty
  54. capter : to understand (comprendre)
  55. cartonner : this can either mean to be successful or to have an accident
  56. casse-couilles, casse-pieds (masculine) : someone annoying (casse-pieds is nicer than casse-couilles because couilles means “testicules”)
  57. se casser : to leave (partir)
  58. casser la croûte : to eat (manger)
  59. chicots (plural feminine) : teeth (dents)
  60. chelou : questionable, weird (verlan of “louche” which means shady or fishy)
  61. cheum : ugly (verlan of moche, which also means ugly)
  62. chialer : to cry (pleurer)
  63. chiant : annoying (embêtant)
  64. chier : to poop
  65. chieur (masculine) : someone annoying
  66. chiottes (plural feminine) : the bathroom
  67. chtarbé : crazy (fou)
  68. clacos (or claquos) : another word for the cheese camembert
  69. clamecer, clamser, clapser : to die (mourir)
  70. claque (feminine) : a slap (gifle)
  71. claqué : tired (fatigué)
  72. clébard (clebs) masculine : dog (chien)
  73. clope (feminine) : cigarette
  74. coltiner (se) : to carry (porter)
  75. con (masculine) : an idiot
  76. connerie (feminine) : foolishness (bêtise)
  77. costard (masculine) : a suit (costume)
  78. crade, crado, cracra, cradingue : dirty (sale)
  79. crâner : to brag (se vanter)
  80. crever : to die (mourir)
  81. dalle (avoir la) : to be hungry (avoir faim)
  82. daube (feminine) : something without value or of poor quality
  83. dèche (c’est la) : a really problematic situation
  84. déchiré : drunk or high
  85. déconner : to joke around
  86. défoncé, def : drunk or high
  87. dégager : to leave (partir)
  88. dégommer : to kill (tuer)
  89. dégueulasse : dirty (sale)
  90. dégueuler : to throw up (vomir)
  91. désaper : to undress (déshabiller)
  92. dingue, dingo : crazy (fou)
  93. dodo (faire) : to sleep (dormir)
  94. douce (en) : in secret (en cachette)
  95. draguer : to seduce/flirt (séduire)
  96. écraser (s’) : to shut up (se taire)
  97. emmerder : to annoy/bother (considered rude)
  98. enfoiré/enculé : someone who is dishonest or not a good person (be a little more careful with enculé because it comes from the verb enculer which means to sodomize)
  99. esquiver (s’) : to leave discreetly
  100. fauché (masculine) : a poor person (pauvre)
  101. la fermer : to shut up (se taire)
  102. fiasco (masculine) : a failure (échec)
  103. fissa (faire) : to do something quickly
  104. flemme (feminine) : laziness (see a better explanation here)
  105. flic (masculine) : police officer (policier)
  106. flingue (masculine) : gun (arme à feu)
  107. flinguer : hurt or kill someone with a gun
  108. flipper : to worry (angoisser)
  109. flop (masculine) : a failure (échec)
  110. foirer : to fail (échouer)
  111. fourguer, refourguer : to get rid of something at a low price or by giving it away
  112. foutre : a ruder replacement for “faire
  113. foutu (quelque chose) : broken
  114. frangin : brother (frère)
  115. frangine : sister (sœur)
  116. fric (masculine) : money (argent)
  117. frimer : to brag (se vanter)
  118. fringues (plural feminine) : clothes (vêtements)
  119. se fringuer : to get dressed (s’habiller)
  120. froc (masculine) : pants (pantalon)
  121. fromton (masculine) : cheese (fromage)
  122. fumer : to kill (tuer)
  123. futal, fut (masculine) : pants (pantalon)
  124. galère (feminine) : a difficult or complicated situation
  125. gamberger : to reflect (réfléchir)
  126. gars (pronounced “ga”) : a man (homme)
  127. gauler : to catch someone
  128. gelé, givré : crazy (fou)
  129. genre: a filler word similar to like
  130. gerber : throw up (vomir)
  131. glander : to not do anything, to laze about
  132. godasse (feminine) : shoe (chaussure)
  133. se goinfrer : to eat a lot and messily
  134. gonzesse (feminine) : a girl (fille)
  135. gosse : a child (enfant)
  136. grave : mentally disturbed
  137. grave : a lot/very (e.g. j’ai grave faim)
  138. grailler : to eat (manger)
  139. grillé : caught (attrapé) (also gaulé)
  140. grouiller (se) : to hurry (se dépêcher)
  141. gueule (feminine) : mouth or head
  142. gueuler : to shout
  143. intox (feminine) : fake news
  144. jacter : to talk (parler)
  145. keuf (masculine) : police officer (policier) (verlan for “flic”)
  146. keum (masculine) : man (verlan for “mec”)
  147. kiffer : to appreciate or like
  148. laisse tomber : to stop or abandon
  149. larguer : to abandon or leave (often used when talking about a break-up)
  150. louper : to fail (échouer)
  151. loupiotte (feminine) : lamp (lampe)
  152. lourd (masculine) : someone who is unable to be subtle or who gets on your nerves
  153. lover (masculine) : an emotional man
  154. manger (se) : to take or receive (il s’est mangé une baffe = he took a hit)
  155. marrant : funny/fun (amusant)
  156. mater : to look at or draw up someone
  157. matos (masculine) : equipment (matériel)
  158. mec (masculine) : a man
  159. médoc (masculine) : medicine (médicament)
  160. merde (feminine) : shit
  161. merder : to fail (échouer)
  162. moche : ugly (laid)
  163. mortel : excellent
  164. nabot (masculine) : a small or skinny man
  165. nana (feminine) : a woman (femme)
  166. naze (masculine) : lame/useless (nul)
  167. nickel : perfect
  168. oué : yeah
  169. ouf : crazy (verlan for “fou”)
  170. papelard (masculine) : paper (papier)
  171. Paname : Paris
  172. patate (feminine) : a punch or to be healthy/fit
  173. paumer : to lose (perdre)
  174. pêche (avoir la) : to be in good health
  175. peler (se) : to be cold (avoir froid)
  176. pelle (rouler une) : a French kiss (kissing with tongue)
  177. pénard : in peace
  178. pépin (masculine) : a problem or worry
  179. pige (feminine) : year (année) (this is often used to talk about age)
  180. piger : to understand (comprendre)
  181. pinard (masculine) : wine (vin)
  182. piquer : to steal (voler)
  183. pisser : to pee (uriner)
  184. plaquer : to abandon (abandonner)
  185. planter (se) : to screw up (se tromper)
  186. pognon (masculine) : money (argent)
  187. poil (à) : naked (nu)
  188. poireauter : to wait (attendre)
  189. poisse (feminine) : unlucky (malchance) (usually used with “avoir”)
  190. pompe (feminine) : shoe (chaussure)
  191. pote (masculine) : friend (copain)
  192. poucave (feminine) : someone who tells other people your secrets
  193. poulet (masculine) : police officer (policier)
  194. PQ, papier-cul (masculine) : toilet paper (papier toilette)
  195. prof : teacher (professeur)
  196. prune (feminine) : a traffic ticket (contravention)
  197. que dalle : nothing (rien)
  198. racaille (feminine) : a hooligan
  199. rancard (masculine) : a date (rendez-vous)
  200. rappliquer : to come/to arrive
  201. raquer : to spend money
  202. réglo : honest/loyal
  203. relou : unsubtle (verlan for “lourd”)
  204. rigolo : funny
  205. ringard : old fashioned
  206. rouge : wine (vin)
  207. roupiller : to sleep (dormir)
  208. sape (feminine) : clothes (vêtement)
  209. se saper : to get dressed (s’habiller)
  210. serrer : to catch (attraper)
  211. seum : a feeling of disgust or embarrassment
  212. soutif (masculine) : a bra (soutien-gorge)
  213. speed (masculine) : to have a lot of energy
  214. squatter : to stay somewhere or to go to someone’s house
  215. super : awesome
  216. sympa : nice (shortened version of sympathique)
  217. tabasser : to fight (battre)
  218. taf (masculine) : work (initials of “Travail À Faire,” or work to do)
  219. taffer : to work (travailler)
  220. taulard (masculine) : detained (détenu)
  221. taule (feminine) : prison
  222. taulier (masculine) : boss (patron)
  223. taupe (feminine) : someone who infiltrates into a group to get information (a mole)
  224. thune (feminine) : money (argent)
  225. toubib (masculine) : doctor (médecin)
  226. type (masculine) : a man (homme)
  227. vanne (feminine) : a joke that’s often made about another person
  228. vénère : to be angry or annoyed (verlan for “énerver”)
  229. vieux : parents
  230. wesh : filler word used when greeting someone, or asking someone a question
  231. zbool : a racket, a noise that is disturbing the peace

À plus tard, mes potes !

Recommended Articles:

FrenchSpeaking of FrenchSpeaking of...

(Video) French Slang: 2 Essential Words in France

The Ultimate List of 231 French Slang Terms - Rosetta Stone (3)

(Video) Partially Examined Life podcast - Semiotics and Structuralism - Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Derrida

Calli Zarpas

Calliope Zarpas, writer and graphic designer, is a collector of foreign words and experiences. She loves trying traditional foods and drinks from all over the world (ask her about the “happy water” she had in a tiny Vietnamese village) and making friends despite language barriers.

previous post

Music In German

next post

Five Untranslatable French Words I Wish Existed in English

(Video) Between The Lines

Related Articles

20 Best Spanish Songs You Must Hear

Listen to 2023’s Top 25 Foreign Language Songs...

How to Order Food in French (with Example...

Spanish-Speaking Countries in Africa

Spanish-Speaking Countries in Central America

How to Say “Thank You” in French

There’s a Word for That: Lagom

There’s a Word for That: Staying Strong with...

There’s a Word for That: Embracing the Present...

Body Language: Understanding Facial Expressions, Gestures and More


What is the French slang where they reverse words? ›

Verlan is a playful slang popular among youth, where French words are formed by switching the order in which the syllables are pronounced. The word verlan itself is a great example of verlan because it is à l'envers (which means reverse) backward.

How do you say hot girl in French slang? ›

Une belle gosse.

Similar to “Un beau gosse,” this is a phrase to describe a good-looking girl, or “a hottie”.

What is the slang word for girl in French? ›

Meuf - roughly pronounced muhf - is the equivalent of saying 'woman', 'girl' or 'bird' in English and is often used to describe a woman who is sexually desirable.

How do you say bro in French slang? ›


Frère is French for 'brother' and frérot means 'bro'. Both frère and frérot are common terms of affection for men, used the same way as English speakers use 'bro'. Both, especially frérot, are slangy and young.

What is French slang for America? ›

Technically, “L'Amérique” (feminine noun) meaning 'America' is used for the whole American continent in French. But we often use it to just refer to the USA.

What is flipper in French slang? ›

flipper {noun}

paluche {f} [coll.]

What are slang words for drugs in French? ›

but what are street names for drugs such as weed, molly, blow etc in French? Cocaïne : « coke », « C », « coco » Héroïne : « héro », « H » Ecstasy : « exta », « taz », « MD » Marijuana : an other comment said pretty much all.

What is même in French slang? ›

Même can mean "same", "itself", "very", "exact" and "precise" as an adjective, and "even" as an adverb in French.

What is golden girl French? ›

noun. (popular) enfant f chérie.

What is the French word flirt? ›

Draguer – to seduce/to flirt (common slang) Un dragueur – a seducer (common slang) La drague – seduction (common slang) Séduire – to seduce.

How do you say amazing in French slang? ›

For instance, you can try: Incroyable ! = Incredible! Fantastique !

How do you call a girl cute in French? ›

Cute in French : Mignon

The first way to say cute in French, and the most standard way is mignon. In most case you would use cute in English, you can use mignon in French.

What is sassy girl in French? ›

"sassy girl" in French

volume_up. sassy girl. volume_up. fille imbassée.

What is the French word for pretty girl? ›

pretty girl {noun}

pépée {f} [coll.]

What is the slang word for kiss in French? ›

The most common terms are bise and bisou, and while they are both informal with similar meanings and uses, they're not exactly the same. Une bise is a kiss on the cheek, a gesture of friendship exchanged while saying hello and good-bye.

What is friendzone in French? ›

zone amie {f} [coll.]

What do French people call their siblings? ›

*There is no word for “sibling” in French. *Use “frères” for brothers, “sœurs” for sisters and “frères et sœurs” if you have both.

What is French slang for school? ›

With kids being behind most slang words it's not surprising that there is a slang word for school, which is "bahut". And it's the same for university, which you will probably hear students refer to as "le fac". "Ecole" and "université" are the formal words to use.

What is French slang for cash? ›

Fric, oseille, blé, pognon and thune are all informal terms widely used by French people to denote cash.

What is lie in French slang? ›

Craque is another way to say lie. Il m'a raconté des craques means he told me lies… The expression comes from the 19th century and the word craque (une craque) originates from the verb craquer (to crack). This is a colloquial word to say a lie.

What is French slang for house? ›

Baraque. You're unlikely to stumble upon this word in French class. Make room for baraque, the slang equivalent of “house”.

What does mouche mean in French slang? ›

to get in a huff. to get huffy.

What is French slang for alcoholic? ›

He's an alcoholic. C'est un alcoolique.

What is French slang for doctor? ›

Toubib is a slang term for 'doctor', and is commonly used by people all across France regardless of age.

What is French slang for vape? ›

vapotage {m} [coll.]

What does Le Dodo mean in French slang? ›

Definition: (baby talk) - sleepy time, beddy-bye.

What does Chouchou mean slang? ›

You can double it too - "chouchou" is a standard translation for "darling".

What is go in French slang? ›

What does it mean? Ta go is French argot - slang that's mostly used in young circles - meaning 'your girlfriend'. In English, ta go is probably best translated to 'your gal', or the abbreviation GF (girlfriend). Go is not really a French word at all, it's merely a Frenchifying of the English word 'girl'.

What is a Pitt Golden Girl? ›

The Pitt Band is the largest student organization on campus and the Golden Girls are featured as the baton twirling and dance auxiliary unit of the Pitt Band. To be a "Golden Girl", you should be versatile and proficient in both dance and twirling.

Who is the first golden girl? ›

Sophia Petrillo, portrayed by Estelle Getty, was the oldest Golden Girl character.

What is the meaning of golden boy golden girl? ›

phrase. If you refer to a man as a golden boy or a woman as a golden girl, you mean that they are especially popular and successful. When the movie came out the critics went wild, hailing Tarantino as the golden boy of the 1990s.

What is hookup in French slang? ›

expression to talk about a hookup or a friend with benefits: Le “plan cul”.

What is the meaning of lick in French? ›

French Lick was originally a French trading post built near a spring and salt lick It later became popular for its casinos and entertainment. Known as a spa town by the turn of the 19th century, people from all across the country would make their way to French Lick.

How to flatter a girl in French? ›

Compliments In French
  1. You are cute! — Tu es mignonne !
  2. You have beautiful eyes. — Tu as de beaux yeux.
  3. You are very nice. — Tu es très sympa.
  4. I love your smile, it's so charming. ...
  5. I like your new haircut. ...
  6. I like this color, it really suits you! ...
  7. That's what I call smart! ...
  8. You are a great cook!
Oct 22, 2021

What is the French word for pretty? ›

adjective or adverb. 1. joli (FEM jolie)

What is French slang for relaxing? ›

Tranquille. Tranquille is an adjective to describe something relaxing or calm. However, if you hear used as French modern slang in the streets of France in means something like “sure, no probs”.

What is the French word beautiful? ›

The translation for the word 'beautiful' is belle, or beau, depending on who you are talking to or what you're talking about.

What do French call their boyfriends? ›

Mon beau is typically used for a boyfriend, but can also be used for a close friend or family member, while ma belle is for women. Ma beauté can be used for both female and male loved ones.

What's Mon Cheri? ›

Mon chéri means “my dear” or “sweetheart” in French.

Can a girl say mon cheri? ›

Mon chéri is the male form. You would use this when speaking with a boy or a man. When speaking with a woman, you would use ma chérie . We use mes chéris if it's a group of males (male plural) and mes chéries if it's a group of females (female plural).

What French phrase means a seductive woman? ›

French Phrases in English
French phrasemeaningexample or comment
femme fatale, femmes fatalesa temptress; a highly seductive and attractive woman, especially one who brings disaster to any man involved with her [literally, fatal woman]Many rulers in history have been destroyed through their obsession with a femme fatale.
63 more rows

What is French for innocent girl? ›

You could call each one an ingénue, or a young female character in literature or film who is wholesome and innocent. Ingénue comes from the French ingénu meaning "ingenuous, innocent." The term is used to describe the innocent girl stock character in film or literature.

What is lazy girl in French? ›

French Translation. fille paresseuse. More French words for lazy Girl. paresseuse.

What is the French word for baby girl? ›

une petite fille ⧫ un bébé

What is French for blonde girl? ›

blond. She's got blonde hair. Elle a les cheveux blonds.

What is a popular French saying? ›

Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup.

Literal translation: “Eat well, laugh often, love a lot.” Actual meaning: “Live life to the fullest” or carpe diem (“seize the day”). Use this positive French saying to console a friend that is having a hard time.

What is a popular French swear word? ›

Merde is one of the most popular French swear words, and it can be used in a number of situations. It is equivalent to the English word "shit", and is used to express frustration or anger. This is probably the first curse word people get to know when learning French, and it's really versatile.

What is the French slur for English? ›

Les goddams (sometimes les goddems or les goddons) is an obsolete ethnic slur historically used by the French to refer to the English, based on their frequent expletives.

What is the longest swear ever? ›

Dunbar is famed in Scottish and ecclesiastical history for issuing the longest curse, a 1000-word diatribe against the Borders reivers who he excommunicated saying this: “I curse their head and all the hairs of their head.

Is shut up a bad word? ›

Its use is generally considered rude and impolite, and may also be considered a form of profanity by some.

Is Sacré Bleu offensive? ›

Sacrebleu is a very old fashioned French curse, which is rarely used by the French these days. An English equivalent would be “My Goodness!” or “Golly Gosh!” It was once considered very offensive.

What does Belle Ame mean? ›

⁣ ⁣ Our brand name "belle âme" is a French phrase which means 𝙗𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙡.

What is the F swear word? ›

noun. variants or the F-word. used as a way to refer to the offensive word "fuck" without saying it or writing it.

What French word sounds like the F word? ›

The word that gets the most laughs from English speaking listeners is “phoque". It means “ a seal" in French but its pronunciation sounds like the English word “f***” .

What is a lever in French slang? ›

The levee (from the French word lever, meaning "getting up" or "rising") was traditionally a daily moment of intimacy and accessibility to a monarch or leader, as he got up in the morning.

What does mon bleu mean? ›

"Morbleu" is an obsolete curse. "Mor" is derived from "mort", death. The expression "morbleu" literally means "blue death". The word "blue" ("bleu") is used as a substitute for the word "God" ("dieu") in some French-language curses.

Why is Sacre Bleu a swear word? ›

It is a minced oath form of the profane sacré dieu, "holy God", which is, by some religions, considered a profanity, due to one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, which reads "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated: 26/09/2023

Views: 6275

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.