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Bagnole Meaning & Translation – Car in French (Slang)

Bagnole Meaning & Translation – Car in French (Slang)

Today we’ll look at the word bagnole, a slang word for car. We’ll also look at caisse, another slang word for car, as well as voiture, the formal word for car.



Bagnole (slang) = car in French

Bagnole Meaning & Translation

Word origin

The modern French word bagnole, slang for “car” comes from benna (carriage) in Latin.

Example sentences

This first example sentence uses the word chouette, which means both “great” and “owl”.

Tu aimes ma nouvelle bagnole ? Elle est chouette, non ?

Do you like my new car? It’s great, isn’t it?

In French, a vieille bagnole (old car) is used to mean “clunker”. The expression depuis des années means “for years”. This lesson on our site covers depuis (since) and this lesson covers an/année (year).

Jean-Luc conduit une vieille bagnole depuis des années.

Jean-Luc has been driving a clunker for years.

In this next example, caisse (literally box) is another slang word for car. This word is used in the lyrics of the famous 1980s song Joe le Taxi (by Vanessa Paradis): Et ses ponts qui brillent, dans sa caisse (And the bridges that shine, in his car).

Je change de caisse tous les cinq ans.

I change cars every five years.

Note that vieille caisse also means “clunker”.

Finally, we can’t do a post on bagnole without mentioning the formal French word for car: voiture. This sentence uses the reflexive verb se rendre (to get to), which we touched on in this lesson covering rendre (to give back, return).

En général, je me rends au travail en voiture.

In general, I get to work by car.


Et voilà ! You now know how to use bagnole (slang word for car) in French! Now check our our lesson covering chiant, a slang adjective meaning “annoying” or “pain in the neck”.

La bagnole = Car in French (slang)
la bagnole = Car in French (slang)

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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