For members


French word of the Day: Draguer

Want to indulge in that most French of pastimes and attempt to pick someone up? Then you will need this.

French word of the Day: Draguer

Why do I need to know draguer?

If you work in the dredging or minesweeping industry you may already know this one, but it has an important other meaning that relates to more playful pastimes.

What does it mean?

It means to flirt, to hit on, to try and pick someone up – in short it's the ideal word if you fancy trying your hand at the French dating scene.

READ ALSO From ONS to JTM – our guide to French internet dating

So if you favour a direct approach to your dating, you could tell the object of your affections Oui, je te drague – Yes, I'm hitting on you.

Or maybe Je te drague, au fait – I'm flirting, by the way.

Conversely if your friendly attempts at conversation have been misinterpreted, you could tell someone Mais faut pas t'inquiéter, je te drague pas – Don't worry, I'm not trying to pick you up.

It's also the ideal phrase for a good old gossip with your friends – Ah Pierre, Il drague tout ce qui porte des talons – Ah Pierre, he hits on everything in high heels.

Or Alors qu'elle m'a dragué – For the record, she came on to me.

It's definitely informal, but it's not rude and you won't offend anyone with this phrase, but given the subject matter it's obviously more likely to be used in an informal situation. (Although in good news, French employment law is pretty relaxed about you employing a bit of drague in the workplace).

If you want some alternative phrases, the verb flirter means pretty much what you would expect it to, or you could also use the slightly more old fashioned séduire – to seduce.

Any other meanings?

The word does have a more serious meaning, however, as it also means to dredge or to sweep in the sense of minesweeping.

So if you're discussing a silted up harbour you could say Le port doit être dragué plus régulièrement – The harbour needs to be dredged more regularly.

Or someone could inform you Draguer les mines en pleine mer est dangereux – Sweeping for mines in the middle of the sea is dangerous.

Hopefully the context should make clear whether it's silt dredging or flirting that is being discussed.

For more French words and expressions, check out our French word of the Day section.


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For members


French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Being patronised by a Frenchman? Roll out this phrase.

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Why do I need to know ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines?

Because someone might be trying to take you for a fool.

What does it mean?

Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines – pronounced ne me pren pah pour un lapan de see sem-enn – translates as ‘don’t take me for a six-week-old rabbit’, and is a go-to phrase to warn people not to mistake you for a fool, someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The podcast Hit West from French regional newspaper Ouest-France suggests that the ‘six weeks’ comes from the age a rabbit is weaned at, and must therefore be ready to survive on its own.

And why a rabbit at all? Well no-one really seems very sure. Rabbits don’t get a good rap in the French language though, to stand someone up is poser un lapin in French.

English-language metaphor equivalents may be, “I didn’t come down in the last shower”, “I wasn’t born yesterday”, or, as Line of Duty’s DCI Hastings might say, “I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble”.

Use it like this

Honestly, keep it simple. If someone’s speaking to you in a patronising manner, simply say: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines.

Ouest France suggests that this is the ‘more elegant’ way to request that people don’t take you for a fool. It’s not offensive, but it might be a little old-fashioned. 


You can use the more basic version of this phrase – Ne me prends pas pour une idiote (don’t take me for a fool) or the slightly more punchy Ne me prends pas pour un con (don’t take me for a moron).