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French Word of the Day: Meuf

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
French Word of the Day: Meuf
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

This French word is another example of verlan, and it is one you should be extra careful about misinterpreting.

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Why do I need to know meuf?

It's fair to say that some verlan words have become a part of everyday French more than others, and meuf is certainly one of them. 

How do I use it?

Meuf - roughly pronounced muhf - is the equivalent of saying 'woman', 'girl' or 'bird' in English and is often used to describe a woman who is sexually desirable. 

Meuf is a verlan word, meaning that it is formed by inverting another word's syllables (for more on verlan, like the word teuf).

In this case, that word is femme which is turned into meuf as follows: fe - mme => me - fe => meuf. 

According to some sources it was invented in the 90s. Sometimes it is considered derogatory but it certainly isn't always intended to be. Nevertheless, it's probably best to play it safe with who you use it around. 

In recent years, it has been reclaimed by young women and teens to describe each other, as a gender specific version of 'mate'. 

You'll also hear young women addressing friends in the street with Eh, meuf! - Hey, girl!

The reason we stressed you should be careful about misinterpreting the meaning of meuf is because some English speakers in France known to The Local have admitted to being surprised when hearing it used - due to its similarity to the English word for a particular area on a woman's body. 

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Use it like this

J'ai vu une meuf bizarre dans le bus. - I saw a weird chick on the bus.

Kevin est venu à la soirée avec sa meuf. - Kevin came to the party with his girl.

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