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French Slang

This dictionary is a comprehensive and in-depth look at all the slang, vulgarisms, curses, and insults, plus idioms, expressions, and a lot more, that appear in everday French. If you like modern French films, rap, or other forms of entertainment, you'll find many of the words and phrases used in here. As always with slang, be careful using what you hear; it may not work quite the way you expect.


c’est au bout du monde
idiom. it’s halfway around the world; it’s on the other side of the world; it’s at the end of the Earth

c’est bête comme chou
idiom. as easy as pie; simplicity itself

c’est bientôt dit
idiom. it’s easier said than done; that’s easy to say

c’est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet
idiom. it amounts to the same thing; it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other (lit.: it's a white hat and a hat white; n.b.: the adjective can precede or follow the noun it modifies in French)

c’est dans mes cordes
idiom. it’s right up my alley (lit.: it’s in my ropes)

c’est de l’algèbre pour moi
idiom. it’s all Greek to me (lit.: it’s algebra to me)

c’est donné
idiom. it’s a bargain; it’s a steal

c’est du bidon
idiom. that’s a load of hot air; that’s rubbish; that’s crap (lit.: it’s a can or tin)

c’est du billard
idiom. it’s a piece of cake; it’s a cinch

c’est du gateau
idiom. be easy as cake

c’est du tout cuit
idiom. it’s a cinch; it’s easy as pie

c’est facile comme bonjour
idiom. it’s easy as pie

c’est l’enfance de l’art
idiom. it’s child’s play

c’est la carte forcée
idiom. there is no choice (lit.: it is a forced card/hand)

c’est la croix et la bannière
idiom. it’s a pain in the neck/butt

c’est la fin des haricots
idiom. it’s all over; the game is up

c’est la goutte d’eau qui fait déborder le vase
idiom. it’s the last straw; it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back

c’est le bouquet
idiom. that takes the cake; that’s the last straw

c’est le cadet de mes soucis
idiom. that’s the least of my problems; I couldn’t care less (lit.: it’s the smallest/junior of my concerns)

c’est le comble
idiom. that’s the last straw (lit.: that’s the summit)

c’est le coq du village
idiom. he’s the cock of the walk (lit.: he’s the rooster of the village)

c’est le dernier cri
idiom. it’s the latest thing; it’s quite something

c’est le dernier des hommes
idiom. he’s scum; he’s the scum of the earth

c’est ma dernière planche de salut
idiom. it’s my last hope

c’est ne pas le Pérou
idiom. it’s nothing to write home about; it’s no big deal

c’est tout comme
idiom. it amounts to the same thing

c’est un déjeuner de soleil
idiom. it won’t last (lit.: it’s a breakfast in the sun)

c’est un faux jeton
idiom. he’s a double-dealer; he’s as crooked as a snake

c’était fatal
idiom. it was bound to happen (lit.: it was fated)

ça assure pas
idiom. it's lame; it's pathetic

ça cout la peau de cul
idiom. be very expensive

ça cout les yeux de la tête
idiom. be very expensive; cost a great deal

ca craint
idiom. it sucks

ça crève les yeux
it's as plain as the nose on your face (lit.: it punctures the eyes)

ça fait deux
idiom. apples and oranges; two separate things; two things that don't go together (lit.: it makes two). 1. L’informatique et toi, ça fait deux.

ça fouette
idiom. it stinks; it smells; it reeks (lit.: it is whipped; from fouetter: whip, flog, whisk)

ça le fait
idiom. it's cool

ça m’a cassé bras et jambes
idiom. that was the last straw (for me) (lit.: that broke my legs and arms)

ca m’est égal
idiom. I don’t care; it’s all the same to me

ça me dit quelque chose
idiom. that rings a bell [for me]

ça ne pisse pas loin
idiom. it's nothing to write home about; it's no big deal (lit.: that doesn't piss far)

ça pisse
idiom. it's pouring; it's pissing down; it's coming down in buckets (lit.: it's pissing)

ça se voit comme le nez au milieu de la figure 
idiom. it’s very obvious

ça sent le sapin
idiom. someone is going to die soon (n.b.: said of someone who is at death's door)

ça va chier
idiom. the shit is going to hit the fan

ça va chier des bulles
idiom. the shit is going to hit the fan

ça va saigner
idiom. the shit is going to hit the fan

ça vous pend au nez 
idiom. it’s going to happen to you (threat)

n.m. poop; shit; number two (used mostly by children)

n.m. poop; excrement; number two

idiom. hide and seek

n.m. pill; tablet

v. tell on somebody; taddle; squeal

n.f. youths, especially of north African descent in the suburbs who steal, burn down grocery stores (n.b.: xenophobic and offensive; verlan for racaille)

n.f. rabble, rifraf (n.b.: verlan for racaille)

n.f. car; wheels

v. live on; live off of (e.g.: coffee, alcohol, etc.)

caresser une idée
idiom. toy with an idea (lit.: caress an idea)

casser du sucre sur le dos de qqn
idiom. talk about someone behind their back (lit.: break sugar on somebody's back)

casser la baraque
idiom. spoil something that someone else has built up; be a great hit or success

casser la figure à qqn
idiom. knock someone’s block off (lit.: break the figure of someone)

casser les couilles à qqn
idiom. bust someone’s balls; bug the shit out of someone

casser les oreilles
idiom. bore; talk to death

casser les pieds à
idiom. be a pain in the neck (lit.: to break the legs [of someone])

casser les pieds à qqn
idiom. get one someone’s nerves; bore someone stiff

casser sa pipe
idiom. kick the bucket (lit.: to break the pipe)

n.f. prostitute; slut; bitch (a common word used to refer to a prostitute, slut, or bitch. The word was more common in the 1980s, apparently in rap music, than it is nowadays) (ex.: Il était mordu de cette catin.)

ce n’est pas évident
idiom. it’s harder than you think

ce n’est pas la mer à boire
idiom. it’s not as bad as all that; it’s not asking the impossible

ce n’est pas une mince affair
idiom. be no small matter

ce n'est pas du bidom
idiom. I'm not kidding; he's not kidding (etc.)

ce sont deux têtes sous le même bonnet
idiom. be hand in glove together

cela en dit long sur
idiom. that says a lot about

cela fait deux
idiom. that’s two different things/matters

cela fait un bail
idiom. it’s been ages; it’s been a long time [since] (lit.: it makes a lease [since])

cela ne me dit pas grand chose
idiom. that’s not much; it’s not impressive

cent patates
n.f.pl. one-hundred thousand francs (Euros) (n.b.: from the comic les Inconnus)

c'est bidon
idiom. it's false

c'est de la broutille
idiom. it's junk; it's rubbish; it's worthless; it's not important

c'est donner de la confiture aux cochons
idiom. pearls before swine; offering something great to someone who doesn’t appreciate it

c'est du bidom
idiom. that's a load of hot air; that's a load of bull; that's codswallop

c'est fini, oui
idiom. enough already; enough (said when telling someone to cease and desist with whatever they are saying or doing; expresses exasperation or frustration)

c'est le pompon
idiom. it beats everything

adj. coward

chacun sa croix
idiom. everyone has his problems

chair de poule
idiom. goose bumps

n.m. accelerator [in a car] (lit.: mushroom)

change d’avis
idiom. change one’s mind

changer de langage
idiom. change one’s tune (lit.: to change language)

changer de refrain
idiom. give it a rest; change the tune (lit.: change the chorus)

adj. mean (n.b.: verlan for méchant)

chanter comme une casserole
idiom. sing really badly

chapeau (bas)
exclam. congratulations (lit.: hat off)

n.m. jibberish, gobledygook

n.m. noise; din; racket; uproar. 1. Ce fut un charivari indescriptible.

n.m. vile person

v. exaggerate

n.m. tag

n.m. rascal; scoundrel, rogue

chercher à tâtons
idiom. feel one’s way along

chercher des poux dans la tête de
idiom. try to make trouble for (lit.: search for fleas on the head of [someone])

chercher la petite bête
idiom. split hairs; nitpick (lit.: search for little beasties)

v. cry; blubber

v. quibble over something

chiche !
idiom. I dare you!

v. defacate; shit

n.f.pl. toilet; can

v. quibble over something

n.m/f. teacher’s pet

adj. nice, good

onom. sshh

n.f. cigarette

n.f. target

n.m. cinema; movie theater

adj. nuts; crazy; loony

n.m. cinema; movie theater

cirer les bottes à qqn
idiom. brownnose; polish someone’s apple (lit.: wax someone’s boots)

cirer les pompes
idiom. annoy somebody (usually: il commence à me cirer les pompes)

clair comme de l’eau de roche
idiom. crystal clear (lit.: clear like water from a spring)

v. kick the bucket; die

v. throw money around (lit.: to flap; to bang; to ring out)

n.m. dog; hound; mutt (pejorative)

n.m. dog; hound; mutt (pejorative)

clin d’oeil
idiom. wink

n.m. clit; clitoris

n.m/f. cigarette

n.f. mess; rubbish; trash; pigswill; disgusting or foul food

v. stink; reek

cogner les pots
idiom. be dead tired; be falling asleep (n.b.: particular to Auvergne)

adj. uptight; anal

collaborator (from collaboratuer,-trice)

coller un élève
idiom. keep a student after school; give a student detention

v. hawk; peddle

adj. the limit (n.b.: used only in c'est le comble)

comme d’hab
idiom. as usual, normally

comme de juste
idiom. as might be expected

comme d'habitude
idiom. as always (n.b.: name of a song by Claude Francois from 1968, which was then rewritten by Paul Anka as "My Way" and sung by Frank Sinatra)

comme l’âne de Buridan
idiom. unable to make up one’s mind (lit.: like Buridan’s donkey; n.b.: this comes from a philosophical text supposedly by Buridan [14th century] about a donkey tha

comme les doigts de la main
idiom. thick as thieves

comme qui dirait
idiom. so to speak

comme un bolide
idiom. at top speed; very fast (lit.: like a meteor). 1. Il conduit comme un bolide.

comme un coq en pâte
idiom. in clover (lit.: like a rooster in pastry/dough)

comme un fagot
idiom. badly dressed

comme une fleur
idiom. unexpectedly; without trying, effortlessly; without a hitch (lit.: like a flower)

comprendre la plaisanterie
idiom. be able to take a joke; be a good sport (lit.: understand the joke)

compter pour du beurre
idiom. not to count (lit.: count as butter)

n.f. bitch, bitchy woman (n.b.: used only in reference to women)

condamner une porte
idiom. closee off a door (lit.: condemn a door)

conducteur du dimanche
idiom. Sunday driver

n.f. jam

connaître comme sa poche
idiom. know like the back of one’s hand (lit.: know like one’s pocket)

connâitre de vue
idiom. know by sight

connaître la musique
idiom. know the score (lit.: know the music)

connaître les ficelles
idiom. know all the angles

connaître sur le bout du doigt
idiom. have at one’s fingertips (lit.: know at the end of a finger)

n.m. ass (n.b.: used only in reference to men)

n.f. bitch, bitchy woman (n.b.: used only in reference to women)

n.f. studid words or actions

conter fleurette à
idiom. flirt with (lit.: tell flowers to)

adj. cool

n.f. drag, drudgery, chore

corvée de pluches
idiom. potato peeling, spud bashing

n.m. suit (n.b.: often the 'd' at the end is dropped)

adj. strong; sturdy; tough

n.m./f. strong; sturdy; strapping

côte à côte
idiom. side by side (lit.: coast at coast)

balls, testicles

n.m. jerk; twit

n.f. bullshit; tall tales; nonsense

v. cry; whine

coup d’oeil
idiom. insight

coup de bec
idiom. cutting remark, dig (lit.: peck, blow from a beak)

coup sur coup
idiom. in rapid succession

couper bras et jambes à
idiom. take the steam out of; deflate

couper l’herbe sous le pied de qqn
idiom. pull the rug out from under someone; cut the ground from under someone’s feet

couper la poire en deux
idiom. meet halfway; compromise; split the difference (lit.: cut the pear in half)

couper le sifflet à qqn
idiom. interrupt someone; cut someone short

couper les cheveux en quatre
idiom. split hairs

couper les ponts
idiom. cut off relations; burn one’s bridges

courier deux lièvres à la fois
idiom. work both ends against the middle; have a finger in many pies

courir le cotillon
idiom. chase skirts; chase girls

courir le jupon
idiom. chase skirts; chase girls

courir les filles
idiom. chase skirts; chase girls

courir les rues
idiom. be common knowledge; be ordinary

court sur pattes
idiom. low-slung

cousu d’or
idiom. filthy rich; stinking rich

cousu de fil blanc
idiom. easy to see through; obvious

coûte que coûte
idiom. at all costs; at any cost; come hell or high water

coûter les yeux de la tête
idiom. cost an arm and a leg

cracher dans la soupe
idiom. spoil something (so that it can only be enjoyed by you) (lit.: spit in the soup)

adj. dirty

adj. filthy, disgusting

adj. shady; dodgy

n.m/f. show-off

v. smoke without inhaling

v. hang out; hang around; crash; kip down

crétin des Alpes
idiom. ass; asshole (n.b.: regionalism used in the southeast of France)

n.f. idiocy; stupidity

v. kick the bucket; die

v. kill

crever de
v. be bursting with; be full of

crever de chaud
idiom. be boiling hot; be steaming hot

crever de faim
idiom. be starving; be famished

crever de froid
be freezing; be freezing cold

crever d'ennui
idiom. be bored; be bored to tears

crever la dalle
idiom. be extremely hungry

crever le cœur à qqn
idiom. break somebody's heart

crever les yeux
idiom. be obvious

crier comme un cochon qu’on égorge
idiom. cry really loudly

adj. nervous, tense, awkward

croir qqn sur parole
idiom. take someone’s word for something

croire savoir que
idiom. understand that

idiom. you can take my word for it

adj. silly; corny. 1. C'est très cucu.

cuisiner qqn
idiom. give someone the third degree

n.m. cook; chef

adj. drunk; sloshed

n.m. butt; buttocks; ass

cul sec
idiom. bottoms up

n.m. nerve, impudence

cuver son vin
idiom. sleep it off (i.e.: the effects of alcohol)

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