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French Slang: 60 Essential Words

French Slang: 60 Essential Words

This page provides a list of 60 French slang words. After having spent a year in France, I made this list based on slang word that I heard on a daily basis. While the language is constantly evolving, I feel that every student learning French should be familiar with the words listed on this page.

French slang

French slang for daily survival in France

I broken down French slang into multiple several categories including people, family, money, food, the body, social status, professions and verbs.

People

Un mec

Meaning: a guy

Un mec, which translates to “a guy” is one of the most useful French slang words. It’s used in all sorts of situations. Je n’aime pas ce mec. I don’t like this guy.

Un type

Meaning: a guy

Another word for guy. C’est qui ce type? Who is this guy?

Un gars

Meaning: a guy

A third slang word for guy. Pourquoi tu as embauché ce gars? Why did you hire this guy?

Une meuf

Meaning: 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

Meaning: 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

Meaning: my pal

These words translate to my buddy. Je vous présente mon pote, Martin. This is my buddy, Martin.

Mon keum

Meaning: 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

Meaning: child, kid

You can use all these words for kids. Regarde-moi ce sale gosse! Look at that brat!

Un boudin

Meaning: overweight person

Horribly impolite term mostly used to describe females. Ce qui ce boudin? Who’s this fat chick?

Family

Ma reum

Meaning: 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

Meaning: my dad

Same as the previous term. Mon reup is Verlan for mon père.

Mon frangin, ma frangine

Meaning: My brother, my 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

Meaning: mother-in-law

Elle me rend fou ma belle-douche! My mother-in-law drives me nuts!

Un fiston

Meaning: son

This word is based on fils (son). Il est beau mon fiston, non? My son is handsome, isn’t he?

Un tonton, une tatie

Meaning: uncle and aunt

These terms are used very often and are terms of endearment. Tanton Philippe arrive demain! Uncle Philippe is coming tomorrow!

Money

le fric
Meaning: money

Il est bourré de fric, ce mec! That guy’s loaded/filthy rich!

Le pognon
Meaning: money

J’ai pas assez de pognon pour acheter cette chemise. I don’t have enough money to buy this shirt.

L’oseille (f)
Meaning: money

Tu peux me prêter un peu d’oseille? Can you lend me some money?

La thune
Meaning: money

T’as de la thune sur toi? Do you have any money on you?

Une balle
Meaning: buck, quid

Use this term the way you’d use bucks in English. Ça coute trente balles. It costs thirty bucks.

Reuch
Meaning: expensive

This is a Verlan term based on cher (expensive). Elle est reuch, cette bagnole. This car is expensive.

Une brique
Meaning: 10,000 francs

Somewhat outdated but worth knowing. La maison a coûté dix briques. The house cost 100,000 francs.

Être fauché, raide, à sec
Meaning: 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
Meaning: 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

Bon ap’ short for bon appétit – Use this at the table and you’ll get lots of smiles!

J’ai la dalle = J’ai très faim – Slang term for I’m very hungry. Not very polite.

Une casse-dalle
Meaning: snack

The more formal term for snack is a une casse-croûte.

Le petit déj = le petit déjeuner
Meaning: breakfast

The French love to shorten words. Tu prends le petit déj avec moi? Want to have breakfast with me?

dégueu = dégueulasse
Meaning: disgusting

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 pif
Meaning: 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
Meaning: gut, big stomach

Il a gros bidon, ce mec! That guy has a big gut!

La tronche, la gueule
Meaning: 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
Meaning: hair

Je vais me faire couper les tifs. I’m going to get a haircut.

Les mirettes
Meaning: eyes

Ouvre tes mirettes et regarde ça! Open your eyes and look at that!

Social Status

Un richard
Meaning: rich jerk

Je n’aime pas ce richard! I don’t like that rich bastard!

Un aristo
Meaning: aristocrat

Seulement les aristos frequentent ce restaruant. Only aristocrats go to that restaurant.

BCBG = bon chic bon genre
Meaning: 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
Meaning: rich person

Comes from the word bourgeois. Elle vient d’une famille bougeoiose. She’s from a middle-class family.

Un prolo
Meaning: working class person

This term comes from the word prolétariat. Les prolos habitent dans ce quartier. Middle-class people live in this neighborhood.

Un smicard
Meaning: minimum wage earner

The acronym SMIC (salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance) means minimum wage in French.

Un rmiste
Meaning: a person on welfare

Le RMI is the acronym for welfare in French.

Un clodo
Meaning: homeless person

This slang word is based on the word clochard, which means homeless person, bum or vagrant.

Professions

Un flic
Meaning: cop

Rather than saying la police, use this fun slang term. Appelle les flics! Call the cops!

Un keuf
Meaning: cop

This is another slang word for policeman. Keuf is the Verlan word for flic.

Un gratte-papier
Meaning: 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
Meaning: mechanic

The word mécano comes from un mécanicien, or a mechanic. Le mécano répare la bagnole. The mechanic is fixing the car.

Un proprio
Meaning: landlord

This word is a shortened version of propriétaire. Mon proprio frappe à la porte! My landlord is knocking on the door!

Un politicard
Meaning: politician

This is a very pejorative word. Les politicards de ce pays sont tous corrompu. All this country’s politicians are corrupt.

Slang Verbs

Bosser
Meaning: to work

Je bosse depuis 8h00 et je suis très fatigué! I’ve been working since 8am and I’m very tired.

Bouffer
Meaning: to eat

Tu bouffes trop vite! You’re eating too fast!

Louper
Meaning: 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
Meaning: 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
Meaning: to steal

This very is synonymous with to steal. On m’a piqué le portable! My cell phone got stolen!

Mater
Meaning: to look at

This very is synonymous with regarder. Pourquoi est-ce que tu mates les filles comme ça? Why are you staring at the girls like that?

Balancer
Meaning: to throw out

Meaning: 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
Meaning: to lose

Meaning: This verb equates to perdre. Zut! J’ai pommé mes clés. Shoot! I lost my keys!

Filer
Meaning: to lend

This very equates to prêter. File-moi ton portable, s’il te plaît. Lend me your cell phone, please.

Conclusion

Et voilà ! Now you know some great French slang words! Now check our our main French vocabulary page!

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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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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