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French word of the day: Franchement

Once you've mastered the basics of French, there are a few little words that you can drop into conversation to really add emphasis and make yourself sound more local.

French word of the day: Franchement

Why do I need to know franchement?

You can create a sentence perfectly well without it, but if you want to add a bit of oomph to what you are saying, this is a handy word. It's also very widely used in everyday conversation by French people, so you will hear it a lot if you're chatting.

What does it mean?

It means frankly or truly or in some contexts very or really. It's a word that really adds emphasis to what you are saying.

So if you're annoyed about something you could say Je suis colère – I am angry – but if you're really annoyed you could say je suis franchement colère!

Or Le moral est franchement mauvais – Morale is really low.

You can also use it to start a sentence – Franchement, elle est stupide – Quite frankly, she's thick.


Or even Franchement, tu m'emmerdes avec tes questions – Frankly, you're pissing me off with your questions.

Are there alternatives?

If you get bored of franchement but still need to be emphatic, some alternatives would be carrément, clairement, vraiment or diréctement.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: C’est le box

This French expression has little to do with storage devices.

French Expression of the Day: C’est le box

Why do I need to know c’est le box?

Because you might have described your adolescent bedroom this way.

What does it mean?

C’est le box roughly pronounced say luh box – comes from the longer expression c’est le boxon, and does not have to do with a container to store things. In reality, c’est le box means either literally or figuratively that something is a mess or disaster.

It is a synonym for the more commonly used French expression c’est le bordel

Both are slang terms that border on being vulgar, are originally references to brothels, and describe disorder or disarray.

The word boxon first appeared in the early 1800s in the form of bocson, which meant cabaret and later “house of tolerance”. Its origins are disputed, but over the past two centuries it has come to be synonymous with a “place of debauchery” and later messiness and disorder.

You can also say “Quel box!” or “Quel Boxon!” to mean “What a mess!” or “What a disaster!”

If you are looking for a less vulgar way to describe a mess, you could instead say “c’est le bazar”.

Use it like this

C’est quand la dernière fois que tu as nettoyé ta chambre ? C’est le box ici. – When was the last time you cleaned your room? It is a disaster in here.

Je ne suis pas la seule personne qui pense que c’est le boxon dans cette ville en ce moment. – I’m not the only person who thinks this city is a mess right now.