For members


French word of the Day: Papoter

If you enjoy a good chat, gossip or chinwag then this French verb is for you.

French word of the Day: Papoter

Why do I need to know papoter?

It's a slang term and one that is used in casual conversation, especially if you're chewing the fat over drinks.

What does it mean?

It means to chatter, to chinwag, to chitchat, to prattle, to natter – a casual term for talking that also has the sense that the subject of the conversation is not particularly serious.

Au café je papote avec les meufs – At the café, I chat with the girls

If you're too busy to talk right now you could graciously excuse yourself by saying

J'aimerais rester et papoter mais j'ai rendez-vous chez le vétérinaire pour mon chat – I'd love to stay and chat, but I have an appointment with the vet for my cat.

If you have some particularly talkative colleagues you could tell them 

Si vous pouviez finir de papoter, on pourrait peut-être travailler un peu – If you can lot can finish up the chitchat then maybe we can do some work.

Or if you're a mean boss you could say Je ne te paye pas pour papoter – I don't pay you to natter.

Slightly more formal but with roughly the same meaning is bavarder. So if you call someone une fille bavarde – that means a girl who pretty much never stops talking.




Member comments

  1. “Si vous pouviez finir de papoter, on pourrait peut-être travailler un peu.”

    Why it is “pouviez” (imperfect) and not “pourriez” (conditional)?

    And you botched the translation with typos.

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For members


French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why being a good pupil can sometimes be … bad.

French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why do I need to know Syndrome de la bonne élève?

Feeling under-valued at work despite doing everything – and more – asked of you? You may have ‘good student syndrome’.

What does it mean?

Syndrome de la bonne élève – pronounced sin-dromm de la bon ell-evv – translates, as we’ve already hinted, as good student syndrome. 

You may well also see it written as syndrome du bon élève (pronounced sin-dromm doo bon ell-evv) – but this is predominantly a female issue.

It refers to someone in the workplace who tries their hardest to work to the rules, do all the jobs asked of them – and more – and yet is overlooked in favour of co-workers who don’t necessarily put in the same hard graft.

It’s not an official ‘syndrome’, but mental health experts do recognise it in many people – particularly women.

It is a hangover, according to features in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, from school days when girls are considered to be harder workers and less trouble than their boy counterparts.

Marie Claire labelled it a “destructive perfectionism … which affects the mental health of the women they become, while preventing them from embracing positions of responsibility’.’

Use it like this

Le syndrome de la bonne élève touche essentiellement les femmes dans le monde occidental. – Good student syndrome mainly affects women in the Western world.

Cette question d’éducation est d’autant plus marquante que le syndrome du « bon élève » affecte généralement les femmes – This question of education is all the more striking because “good student” syndrome generally affects women