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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.


adv. first; first of all

d’autres fois
idiom. at other times

d’entrée de jeu
idiom. right from the start

d’un certain âge
idiom. middle-aged; getting on in years (lit.: of a certain age)

d’un common accord
idiom. unanimously

n.m. horsey; horse (n.b.: child talk)

damer le pion à
idiom. outwit; go one better; get the better of

dans l’embarras
idiom. in a spot; in trouble

dans l’ensemble
idiom. on the whole; overall

dans l’exercise de ses fonctions
idiom. in one’s official capacity

dans le bain
idiom. in the know; in trouble; in the picture (lit.: in the bath)

dans le tas
idiom. at random

dans les choux
idiom. in a fix (lit.: in the cabbages)

dans les coulisses
idiom. behind the scenes

dans nos pieds
idiom. in your place

danser devant le buffet
idiom. go hungry; go without dinner; skip a meal

dater de loin
idiom. go back a long way

de bon coeur
idiom. a lot, considerably

de bonne composition
idiom. easygoing

de bouche à oreille
idiom. by word of mouth

de bout des lèvres
idiom. halfheartedly; without conviction

de but en blanc
idiom. point-blank (range)

de commande
idiom. feigned

de conserve
idiom. hand in hand; together; in cooperation

de côté et d’autre
idiom. here and there; on both sides (lit.: from side to the other)

de deux chose l’une
idiom. one way or the other

de égal à égal
idiom. as equals; as an equal

de façon à
idiom. so as to

de fil en anguille
idiom. one thing leading to another

de la fête
idiom. in on it [something]

de long en large
idiom. from end to end; up and down

de mauvais poil
idiom. grumpy; bad mood (lit.: with bad hair)

de part et d’autre
idiom. here and there, in some places

de plein fouet
idiom. headlong

de plus belle
idiom. with renewed vigor

de point(e)
mod. leading; latest; advanced; ultramodern; peak

de première main
idiom. firsthand; first-hand

de près
idiom. closely

de quel bois on se chauffe
idiom. what one is made of (lit.: of what wood is being burnt)

de sa façon
idiom. of one’s own making

de seconde main
idiom. secondhand; second-hand

de son côté
idiom. for one’s part

de son cru
idiom. of one’s own (creation, invention)

de temps à autre
idiom. from time to time; sometimes

de tout poil
idiom. of all types; of all sorts; of all kinds

de toute façon
idiom. in any case

de touts poils
idiom. of all types; of all sorts; of all kinds

v. confess

v. disgust; make one sick

v. beat to a pulp

v. act like a jerk; lose it; kid

décrocher le pompon
idiom. hit the jackpot

v. puke

v. knock down (a target); hit the target

v. vomit; throw up; puke

demander des comptes
idiom. call to account

démarrer en flèche
idiom. start off with a bang

déménager à la cloche de bois
idiom. skip out on the rent

v. beat someone up

démon de midi
idiom. old goat; dirty old man or woman (lit.: demon of middle age)

dents du bonheur
idiom. the upper front incisors when there is a space between them (lit. teeth of joy)

n.m. ass

idiom. starting from, as far back as

des semaines durant
idiom. for weeks on end (lit.: for hard weeks)

des temps en temps
idiom. from time to time; sometimes

devenir chevre
idiom. go nuts; go crazy (n.b.: used only in the idiom "il y a du quoi devenir chevre")

devoir une fière chandelle à
idiom. be deeply indebted to; owe a debt of gratitude to

n.m. dictionary (standard abbreviation)

adj. crazy; nuts

n.f. stupidity; craziness

dire des niaiseries
idiom. talk rubbish; talk nonsense

dire en bon français
idiom. tell it straight

dire la bonne adventure
idiom. tell fortunes

dire le mot et la chose
idiom. call a spade a spade

dire que
idiom. to think that

dire ses quatre vérités à qqn
idiom. tell someone off

dire son fait à
idiom. give a piece of one’s mind to

n.m. sleep; beddy-bye (n.b.: used by small children)

n.m. gift (lit.: ability)

donnant donnant
idiom. even-steven; fair trade

donner à
idiom. sell out to

donner des ailes
idiom. give somebody wings

donner du fil à retordre à
idiom. give a lot of trouble to

donner l’éveil à
idiom. arouse the suspicions of

donner la patate
idiom. energize

donner la peine
idiom. go to the trouble (lit.: to give the pain/suffering)

donner le bouillon d’onze heures à
idiom. slip poison to

donner le change à
idiom. throw off the scent

donner le la
idiom. set the tone

donner le ton
idiom. set the tone

donner lieu à
idiom. give an opportunity for

donner prise à
idiom. give an opening to

donner raison à
idiom. agree with

donner sa langue au chat
idiom. give up guessing

donner son congé à qqn
idiom. give someone notice [of termination] (lit.: give someone a vacation)

donner sur
idiom. look out on; look over

donner tort à
idiom. disagree with

donner un coup de pouce à qqn/qch
idiom. give someone/something a boost; help someone/something get started (lit.: to give a thumb’s push to someone or something)

donner une gifle
idiom. slap someone in the face; give someone a slap in the face (lit.: to give a slap)

dorer la pilule
idiom. sweeten the pill; sweeten the deal

dormir à la belle étoile
idiom. sleep out of doors (lit.: to sleep at the good star)

dormir à poings fermés
idiom. sleep like a baby

dormir comme un loir
idiom. sleep like a log (lit.: to sleep like a dormouse)

dormir comme une marmotte
idiom. sleep like a log (lit.: to sleep like a hedgehog)

dormir comme une souche
idiom. sleep like a log (lit.: to sleep like a stump)

dormir dans les cartons
idiom. gather dust

dormir dans les fichiers
idiom. gather dust

dormir sur ses deux oreilles
idiom. sleep soundly

v. pull a fast one

doubler le cap de
idiom. go beyond; turn

v. cruise; flirt; pick up

n.m. seducer

dresser une liste
idiom. make out a list

du coup
idiom. as a result

du fait de
idiom. as a result of

du moment que
idiom. since; seeing that; as long as

du tout au tout
idiom. completely

d'une force
idiom. really. 1. Il va le regretter, mais d'une force.

dur à cuire
idiom. a hard nut to crack

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