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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: meuf

Today's word is another example of verlan... and one you should be extra careful about misinterpreting.

French Word of the Day: meuf

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. 

Origins…
 
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. 
 
 
 

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?

Synonyms

Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener

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