French Slang (60+ Great Words For Everyday Conversation)

On this page you will find a list of the most common French slang (argot) words you can use in everyday conversation. I have handpicked these words based on a lifelong experience speaking French. Knowing French slang has lots of advantages including:

  • Discovering the richness of the language and not just being stuck using boring textbook French;
  • Dramatically improving listening comprehension being able to understand French TV shows and movies;
  • Being able to impress native speakers when you can throw out a few slang words in conversations.

On this page I’ve broken down French slang into multiple several sub-groups. Let’s now take a close look at some of my favorite words!

People (Les gens)

The French love using slang words for family. Make sure you master all of these terms as you’ll here them all the time in everyday conversation. These are all totally acceptable in social settings besides the last term on this sub-list.

  • un mec a guy – This has to be my favorite French slang word. It’s used in all sorts of situations. Je n’aime pas ce mec. I don’t like this guy.
  • un type a guy – Another word for guy. C’est qui ce type? Who is this guy?
  • un gars a guy – A third slang word for guy. Pourquoi tu as embauché ce gars? Why did you hire this guy?
  • une meuf a woman, chick – This slang word is from from ‘femme’ comes from Verlan, a Parisian street slang where words are pronounced backwards.
  • une nana, une gonzesse, chick – Two slang words for young woman or girl. C’est qui cette gonzesse? Elle est canon! Who’s that chick? She’s hot!
  • mon pote, ma potte my pal – These words translate to my buddy. Je vous présente mon pote, Martin. This is my buddy, Martin.
  • mon keum my boyfriend – This is another Verlan word based on the word mec. Mon keum est tellement mignon! My boy friend is so cute!
  • un gamin, une gamine, un/une gosse child, kid – You can use all these words for kids. Regarde-moi ce sale gosse! Look at that brat!
  • un boudin overweight person – Horribly impolite term mostly used to describe females. Ce qui ce boudin? Who’s this fat chick?

Family (La Famille)

The French also use lots of slang terms to refer to family members. The following terms are very informal and not 100% socially acceptable.

  • ma reum my mom – This term is based on Verlan and is mère pronounced backwards. Ma reum m’a téléphoné hier. My mom called me yesterday.
  • mon reup my dad – Same as the previous term. Mon reup is Verlan for mon père.
  • mon frangin, ma frangine my brther, sister – Very common French slang and can be used in all sorts of settings. Je connais bien mon frangin. C’est un mec très intelligent. I know my brother very well. He’s a very smart guy.
  • une belle-doche, une belle-muche mother-in-law – Elle me rend fou ma belle-douche! My motherin-law drives me nuts!
  • un fiston son – This word is based on un fils, a son. Il est beau mon fiston, non? My son is handsome, isn’t he?
  • un tonton, une tatie uncle and aunt – These terms are used very offten and are terms of endearment. Tanton Philippe arrive demain! Uncle Philippe is coming tomorrow!

Money & Money Matters (L’argent)

All languages have lots of slang words for money and French is no exception. Here goes with the list:

  • le fric money – Il est bourré de fric, ce mec! That guy’s loaded/filthy rich!
  • le pognon money – J’ai pas assez de pognon pour acheter cette chemise. I don’t have enough money to buy this shirt.
  • l’oseille (f) money – Tu peux me preter un peu d’oseille? Can you lend me some money?
  • la thune money – T’as de la thune sur toi? Do you have any money on you?
  • un balle buck, quid – Use this term the way you’d use bucks in English. Ça coute trente balles. It costs thirty bucks.
  • reuch cher – This is a Verlan term based on cher (expensive). Elle est reuch, cette bagnole. This car is expensive.
  • une brique 10,000 francs – Somewhat outdated but worth knowing. La maison a coute dix briques. The house cost 100,000 francs.
  • être fauché, raide, à sec to be broke – You can use all three of these terms to express being broke. Je ne peux pas y aller ce week-end. Je suis fauché. I can’t go this weekend. I’m broke.
  • un radin, une radine, un/une pingre cheapskate, skinflint – M. Dupont est un radin et il n’achète rien pour sa famille. Mr. Dupont is a cheapskate and doesn’t buy anything for his family.

Food (La Nourriture)

It will be very likely that you’ll meet people and enjoy meals the French on your trip. Here are some fun and useful slang words for food.

  • bon ap’ short for bon appétit – Use this at the table and you’ll get lots of smiles!
  • J’ai la dalle = J’ai tres faim – Slang term for I’m very hungry. Not very polite.
  • une casse-dalle snack – The more formal term for snack is a une casse-croûte.
  • le petit déj = le petit déjeuner – The French love to shorten words. Tu prends le petit déj avec moi? Want to have breakfast with me?
  • dégueu = dégueulasse – This is the shortening of the word for disgusting. Elles sont dégueu ces pâtes! This pasta is disgusting!
  • miam miam! / beurk! – Yummy and yuck! These are kids’ words.

The Body (Le Corps)

French has lots of amusing slang words for the human body. All of the following words are very informal.

  • le pif nose – This word equates to schnozz in Enlgish. Il a un gros pif, ce mec! That guy has a big schnozz!
  • le bide, le bidon gut, big stomach – Il a gros bidon, ce mec! That guy has a big gut!
  • la tronche, la gueule face – You can use both of these word to describe somebody’s face. These words are considered vulgar. Il a une salle gueule, ce gars! That guy has an ugly face!
  • les tifs hair – Je vais me faire couper les tifs. I’m going to get a haircut.
  • les mirettes eyes – Ouvre tes mirettes et regarde ça! Open your eyes and look at that!

Social Status (Le Statut Social)

French has lots of fun slang words for describing various social standings.

  • un richard rich bastard – Je n’aime pas ce richard! I don’t like that rich bastard!
  • un aristo aristocrat – Seulement les aristos frequentent ce restaruant. Only aristocrats go to that restaurant.
  • BCBG preppy, posh – Elle sort avec un mec BCBG depuis quelques mois. She’s been going out with a posh guy for a few months.
  • un bourge – comes from the word bourgeois. Elle vient d’une famille bougeoiose. She’s from a middle-class family
  • un prolo working class person – from the word prolétariat. Les prolos habitent dans ce quartier. Middle-class people live in this neighborhood.
  • un smicard minimum wage earner – The acronym SMIC means minimum wage in French.
  • un rmiste a person on welfare – Le RMI is the acronym for welfare in French.
  • un clodo homeless person – This slang word is based on the word clochard, which means homeless person, bum or vagrant.

Professions (Les métiers)

French has lots of slang words for various professions. Let’s take a look.

  • un flic cop – Appelle les flics! Call the cops!
  • un keuf cop – This is another slang word for policeman. Keuf is the Verlan word for flic.
  • un gratte-papier paper pusher – This is a slang word for somebody who has a menial office position. Ce n’est qu’un gratte-papier! He’s just a paper pusher!
  • un mécano mechanic – The word mécano comes from un mécanicien, or a mechanic. Le mécano répare la bagnole. The mechanic is fixing the car.
  • un proprio landlord – This word is a shortened version of propriétaire. Mon proprio frappe à la porte! My landlord is knocking on the door!
  • un politicard politician – This is a very pejorative word. Les politicards de ce pays sont tous corrompu. All this country’s politicians are corrupt.

Slang Verbs

The French language has a ton of slang verbs. Here we’ll take a quick look at some common verbs.

  • bosser to work – Je bosse depuis 8h00 et je suis très fatigué! I’ve been working since 8am and I’m very tired.
  • bouffer to eat – Tu bouffes trop vite! You’re eating too fast!
  • louper to miss – This very is synonymous with rater. Nous sommes arrivés à la gare trop tard et nous avons loupe le train. We arrived at the train station too late and we missed the train.
  • chopper to catch – This very is synonymous with attraper. Je ne sais pas ou j’ai choppé ce rhume. I don’t know where I caught this cold.
  • piquer to steal. This very is synonymous with to steal. On m’a piqué le portable! My cell phone got stolen!
  • mater to look at – This very is synonymous with regarder. Pourquoi est-ce que tu mates les filles comme ca? Why are you staring at the girls like that?
  • balancer to throw out – This verb equates to jeter. Je balance la laitue apres une semaine dans le frigo. I throw the lettuce out after one week in the fridge.
  • paumer to lose – This verb equates to perdre. Zut! J’ai pommé mes clés. Shoot! I lost my keys!
  • filer to lend – This very equates to prêter. File-moi ton portable, s’il te plaît. Lend me your cell phone, please.
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