French slang: Everyday words you need to know

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Joshua Melvin - [email protected]
French slang: Everyday words you need to know
French slang - here's a list of words you need to know but perhaps should be careful about using. Photo: Shutterstock

As if learning French wasn't hard enough, the language of Molière has a wealth of informal slang words, that you should know as well - even if it's to avoid saying them in case you offend someone. Here we've picked some of the most common everyday words and translated them into French slang.


While the French are notoriously protective of their language from foreign influences, they have done a marvelous job of corrupting its strict formality with plenty of their own colourful slang.

The trouble for Anglos is that just learning regular French can be challenging enough, and that's without the scores of slang words, or argot as the French say, that you were definitely not taught in school.

Also, for those who have been in France long enough, the lines between correct and more informal French can become blurred, and often end up with you using words that are entirely inappropriate for the company you are in.

So we have swept up some of the words you are likely to hear daily in France, but that may not always be suitable to use.

Not surprisingly, the words are clustered around the topics that are most important to nearly everyone: money, love, work and kids. Let us know on Twitter (@thelocalfrance) which ones we've missed. Click on the link below.

French slang: Everyday words you need to know






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