Ultimate List of Timeless French Slang Words and Phrases — With Examples

Share this:

This is the French slang I learned nearly 20 years ago in France that has stood the test of time and that I still hear today.

French can be very formal, but it also quickly descends into slang. And the surprising thing is that slang (including swear words) is used at every level of conversation… from the workplace to everyday life.

You’ll hear French slang from the moment you arrive when you realise that people speak casual French more than formal French. So here’s an introductory guide.

Of course, slang changes constantly, and is highly regional. But luckily, I’ve been speaking French for nearly two decades, so the ones I learned below are the ones I’ve known have stood the test of time, and are likely to stick around. Plus, they’re still used in my middle age by people around me, not just kids in university.

I’ve also included example sentences so you can see how they’re commonly used in everyday conversation.

On y va!

French Slang - Rappers from France
Rappers from Sector A, a French rap collective.

Become a Discoverer

Like this guide on French slang and want more cultural and language guides in your inbox? Join our mailing list.

French slang for everyday things and people

C'est a qui cette bagnole là? A Mr. Bean?
C’est a qui cette bagnole là? A Mr. Bean?

These are french slang words for objects and people.

EnglishFrench (slang)
Don’t worry; the company will pay.
une boîte
T’inquiète, c’est la boite qui paie.
My friend is coming.
un pote/poto
Mon pote, il arrive.
I just spoke with my brother, and he’s flipping out.
Je viens de parler avec mon frangin et il flippe.
Who left their car just outside?
bagnole (slightly cheeky, not for fancy cars)
Qui c’est qui a laissé sa bagnole juste dehors?
There are so many children here!
When I was a kid…
gosse, gamin
Y’a plein de gosses ici!
Quand j’étais gamin…
Can you give me a cigarette?
Tu peux me filer une clope?
What are these clothes you’re wearing?
des fringues
C’est quoi ces fringues que t’as mis?
He had a gun hidden under the driver’s seat
Il avait un flingue caché sous le siège conducteur.
The guy came here a minute ago.
Who is this guy?
Le mec il est venu ici tout à l’heure.
C’est qui ce mec?
lie, a tall story
Don’t lie/exaggerate!
Mais dis pas de bobards!
I don’t have money.
I hope it’s worth it for you! It’s your money.
Keep it, you can make money with it.
fric, pâte, pognon, thune/tune
J’ai pas de fric.
J’espère que ça vaut la peine pour toi! C’est ton pognon.
Garde-le, tu peux faire de la thune avec.
You don’t understand anything
Tu comprends quedalle, toi
I’ve already called the police.
les flics
J’ai déjà appelé les flics.
What is this thing?
C’est quoi ce truc?
Do you know who that woman is?
meuf (slightly disrespectful)
Tu sais c’est qui cette meuf là?
work, job
OK, I’m going to work.
Let me work, I have work to do.
Bon, je vais au boulot.
Laisse moi bosser, j’ai du boulot à faire.
years (for age)
I’m already 40 years o.d
J’ai déjà 40 balais.
French slang for nouns / objects / things

French Slang Verbs

bouffer un truc - french slang - naan au fromage
Je crève de faim, moi! Tu veux aller bouffer un truc? Un cheese naan peut être?

There are LOTS of French slang verbs. It’s amazing how common these are. The moment you’re on vaguely familiar terms, travailler becomes bosser, comprendre becomes piger, and so on. Sometimes I entirely forget the non-slang way of saying things.

Many thanks from feedback on Reddit’s r/french — you are very helpful!

EnglishFrench (slang)
to annoy
Stop bugging me!
He’s doing it on purpose to annoy me.
emmerder (strong)
Arrete de m’emmerder!
Il le fait exprès pour m’emmerder.
to annoy the hell out of/piss (someone) off
Jesus, you really piss me off sometimes!
soûler, saouler (pronounced like sou)
Putain, tu me soûles des fois!
to be afraid
I don’t want to go there at night… I’m scared
avoir la trouille
Je veux pas y aller de nuit… j’ai la trouille
to bother (with)
Don’t bother with that, I’ll do it.
s’emmerder avec
Tu t’emmerdes pas avec ça, je m’en occupe.
to caresse
Yes I’m pregnant but that’s no reason to caress me!
Ouais je suis enceinte mais c’est pas une raison pour me tripoter!
to chat, to speak
Wait, I have to speak with you.
Attends, il faut que je cause avec toi.
to eat
You want to eat something?
Tu veux bouffer un truc?
to exaggerate, embellish, lie
Make something up, then.
Tu brodes, alors.
to freak out
Are you freaking out because of your interview?
Tu flippes à cause de ton entretien?
to get bored
If you’re bored, go home.
Si tu t’emmerdes, rentre chez toi.
to get by, to manage, to find a way
You don’t know how to do it? Figure it out!
se démerder
Tu sais pas comment le faire? Démerde-toi!
to give
You want me to give you a hand?
They came to give you some money.
Tu veux que je te file un coup de main?
Ils sont venus te filer du pognon.
to give the finger
She gave me the finger!
donner le doigt d’honneur
Elle m’a fait le doigt d’honneur!
to go belly-up
Don’t screw everything up.
Ne fais pas tout capoter.
to hurry
Go on, get on with it!
Vas-y, fonce!
to kid
Are you kidding?
No kidding?
Mais tu déconnes ou quoi?
Sans déconner?
to leave
Go on, get out of here!
I have to leave.
se casser, dégager, filer
Vas-y, casse-toi! or Allez, dégage!
Je dois filer.
to like
I absolutely loved it! (e.g. a show, movie)
I like him so much I think I’m going to have a heart attack
J’ai absolument kiffé!
Je vais faire une crise cardiaque tellement je le kiffe.
to miss, to fail
I’m afraid he’ll fail his test.
Go on. You’re going to miss your flight.
J’ai peur qu’il loupe son examen.
Allez, vas-y. Tu vas louper ton vol.
to not give a damn/fuck
I don’t give a damn!
I don’t care about him.
s’en foutre
Je m’en fous, moi!
On s’en fout de lui.
to pick up/seduce
We don’t seduce clients here.
Ici on ne drague pas les clients.
to piss off
Man you’re really pissing me off!
This thing really pisses me off!
faire chier
Mais putain tu me fais chier, toi!
Mais il fait chier ce truc!
to ruin (not slang, but colloquial)
It’s me that ruined everything.
You’re going to ruin everything like this!
C’est moi qui ai tout gâché.
Tu vas tout gâcher comme ça!
to screw with someone/take the piss (in a bad way)
Are you trying to piss me off? You messing with me?
se foutre de la gueule de qqn
Tu te fous de ma guele, toi?
to understand
But you haven’t understood a thing.
Main non, t’as rien pigé.
to work
Are you still working?
We worked like crazy.
Tu bosses encore?
On a bossé comme des fous.
French slang verbs

French slang for describing things

French slang - bordelique - verbs and adjectives
Mais qu’est-ce qui se passe avec cette chambre bordélique??

There are a bunch of adjectives used in everyday French slang that it’s essential to know. Ils sont mortels, ces mots!

EnglishFrench Slang
Sometimes it’s really annoying to have a job.
Fuck, this is so annoying!
chiant, emmerdant
Des fois c’est vraiment emmerdant d’avoir un boulot.
Putain, c’est chiant ça!*
awesome (or boring, in different contexts)
That film was awesome!
C’était mortel, ce film!
bad, terrible, to suck
I’m terrible at Italian
You know why you failed? Because you suck
Je suis nul en Italien
Tu sais pour quoi t’as pas réussi? Parce que t’es nul
chaotic, disorganised
Tidy your room, it’s chaotic!
Range bien ta chambre, elle est complètement bordélique!
It’s completely ruined!
I’d have gone but it’s extremely expensive right now!
C’est carrément foutu!
J’y suis aurais allé mais c’est vachement cher en ce moment!
This chick is crazy.
Watch him… he’s insane at this!
dingue (colloquial)
Elle est dingue cette nana.
Regarde-le… il est comme un dingue!
This is crazy!
ouf (verlan for fou)
C’est ouf ça!
I’m exhausted, I’m home
Je suis crevé, je rentre
screwed, fucked
Everything is screwed now.
Tout est foutu maintenant.
This is stupid
C’est un truc débile
She’s totally stupid!
This film is totally stupid!
con/conne (very vulgar)
Mais elle est complètement conne!
Qu’est-ce qu’il est con, ce film!
French slang adjectives

French Slang Expressions

Finally, there are a bunch of slang expressions it’s good to know.

Good luck/break a leg!Merde! (said pleasantly, with a smile)
Je te dit merde! or On dit merde!
Period!Point barre!
Awesome!Nickel! Top!
Leave it, drop it, forget itLaisse tomber!
Did you like it? Totally!
 Ça t’a plu? Carrément!
That works/OKÇa marche
It sucks.
It sucks, I know.
Ça craint
Ça craint, je sais.
I can’t believe it!J’en reviens pas!
French slang expressions

Got a question on French slang? Or noticed a typo or glaring omission? Drop us a line below.

Share this:

Similar Posts

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
J. Shah
J. Shah
3 years ago

Merci beaucoup! This post is soooo amazing! Just one doubt, for 18. in verbs, should it be “I like him so much I think I’m going to have a heart attack”? Instead of “I’m”

sara k
sara k
3 years ago

This is great!! So many words I’m picking up from Dix Pour Cent are here and now I know what they mean! Thanks 😀

3 years ago

This list is amazing! Thank you for putting it together.