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French Word of the Day: arnaque

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French Word of the Day: arnaque
Photo: Depositphotos
10:36 CET+01:00
This French word has nothing to do with anarchy but nonetheless you definitely won't want to experience it first hand.
Why do I need to know arnaque?
 
Arnaque is something you hope won't happen to you but it's a handy word to know just in case. 
 
You'll also frequently spot it in French headlines. 
 
What does it mean?
 
Literally, arnaque means 'fraud'. 
 
It is also the equivalent of the more informal English terms 'rip-off', 'swindle' and 'scam'. 
 
Arnaque is often used literally to describe a crime. For example: Le plan pour gagner de l'argent facilement était une arnaque. (The easy money making scheme was a scam).
 
Or, Cette agence est connue pour ses arnaques (That agency is known for its swindles).
 
It can also be used as an expression, usually with a sense of disbelief, for example when someone is surprised by how much their friend paid for something. 
 
In this situation, C'est de l'arnaque would be the equivalent of 'It's daylight robbery!' or 'It's a rip-off!' in English. 
 
For example, Non, mais tu as vu, des pommes à ce prix-là, c'est de l'arnaque. (No but you see apples at this price, it's daylight robbery!).

Alternatives
 
Instead of saying arnaque, you could use escroquerie which also means 'swindle' or 'fraud' -- but it's a bit more of a challenge to pronounce. 
 
 
 
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