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.
Meuf is a verlan word, meaning that it is formed by inverting another word's syllables (for more on verlan, check out our recent word of the day vénère and our more in-depth analysis of this French argot).
In this case, that word is femme which is turned into meuf as follows: fe – mme => me – fe => meuf.
How do I use it?
Meuf is the equivalent of saying 'woman', 'girl' or 'bird' in English and is often used to describe a woman who is sexually desirable.
However it has recently been reclaimed by female teens and young women to describe each other, as a gender specific version of 'mate'.
For example, you might hear J'ai vu une meuf bizarre dans le bus. – I saw a weird chick on the bus.
Or, Kevin est venu à la soirée avec sa meuf. – Kevin came to the party with his girl.
You'll also hear young women addressing friends in the street with Eh, meuf! – Hey, girl!
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.
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.