French Word of the Day: Pourri

French Word of the Day: Pourri
Want to know a great way for describing the things you don't like? If so 'pourri' could be the French word you've been looking for.

Why should I learn pourri?

Pourri is a need-to-know word for describing bad apples of all kinds, as well as things you don’t like.  

What does it mean?

Translated directly pourri means ‘gone off’ or ‘rotten’ and is often used to describe food, for example if a market holder was trying you persuade you to buy some rotten tomatoes you could say: Non merci, ces tomates sont pourries! (‘No thanks, these tomatoes are rotten!’). 

Pourri is an adjective and as the tomatoes in the case above are feminine and plural, you add an –es to the end of the word.

Building on this meaning, pourri can also be used to describe a rotten person such as a ‘crook’, ‘bad apple’ or someone who is corrupt. You might hear someone say, Les hommes politiques sont souvent des pourris. (‘Politicians are often crooks.’) 

In extreme cases you might even hear someone described as pourri jusqu’à la moelle, or ‘rotten to the core’.

Finally, in familiar spoken French pourri is often used as a general way to say something is ‘rubbish’ or ‘lousy’. You could use it to describe pretty much anything from a film (Le film est pourri – ‘The film is rubbish’) to the weather (Quel temps pourri! – ‘What terrible weather!’) or even an accent (il a un accent pourri – ‘His accent is lousy.’)

Some other examples

Quel film pourri! – What a rubbish film.

Ce jeu vidéo est pourri. – This video game is rubbish.

Le flic était pourri jusqu’à la moelle. – The policeman was corrupt

(The above examples come from


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