For members


14 ways to say ‘OK boomer’ in French – according to Twitter

The phrase 'OK boomer' has swept to popularity first in the USA then in the UK in recent weeks, and now one Twitter users has offered her suggestions, including some fairly insulting ones, on saying it in French.

14 ways to say 'OK boomer' in French - according to Twitter

The phrase is a dismissive response that younger people can make to the 'baby boomer' generation (people born between 1946 and 1964)  if they feel they are being patronised or lectured by them.

It hangs on the fact that millennials feel they have it much tougher in terms of employment security and the cost of living, so resent being told to just try harder by members of an older generation who are now largely retired. 

READ ALSO Nine of the very best French insults

So for example if someone who bought a house in 1971 – when the average house in the UK cost  £5,632 and the average wage was £2,000 – starts lecturing someone trying to buy a house in 2019 – when the average house costs £247,000 and the average wage is £26,000 – about financial management, they might reply with a sarcastic 'OK boomer'.

So with the phrase growing in popularity in the Anglophone world, a French Twitter user from Grenoble who goes by the name of Hamcat has made some suggestions for how the French could adopt the phrase.


So – with a warning to any baby boomers reading that some of these are pretty brutal – here they are.

Note, we don't encourage you to use these, but you'll likely learn some new vocabulary.

D'accord senior – OK, oldie

Si tu l'dis papy – If you say so, daddy

Ta gueule l'aïeul – Shut it granddad. For more on how to use ta guele, click here.


C'est noté, retraité – Noted, pensioner

Si tu veux, gâteaux – If you want, gaga


Y'a moyen, doyen – That's the way, senior.

Super, grand-père – Great, granddad

Et puis quoi encore, dinosaure – and then what, dinosaur

Certes ancêtre – Sure, ancient one


Ainsi soit-il, sénile – So be it, senile old git

Fort bien l'ancien – Very well, old man

Oui bon, croûton – yeah right, old git. For more one how to use croûton, click here.

D'accord, bientôt mort – OK, coffin dodger.

But of course we're equal opportunities insulters here at The Local, so if you want to insult anyone of any age, click here for the best French insults for use in any situation.

For members


Le Havre rules: How to talk about French towns beginning with Le, La or Les

If you're into car racing, French politics or visits to seaside resorts you are likely at some point to need to talk about French towns with a 'Le' in the title. But how you talk about these places involves a slightly unexpected French grammar rule. Here's how it works.

An old WW2 photo taken in the French port town of Le Havre.
An old WW2 photo taken in the French port town of Le Havre. It can be difficult to know what prepositions to use for places like this - so we have explained it for you. (Photo by AFP)

If you’re listening to French chat about any of those topics, at some point you’re likely to hear the names of Mans, Havre and Touquet bandied about.

And this is because French towns that have a ‘Le’ ‘La’ or ‘Les’ in the title lose them when you begin constructing sentences. 

As a general rule, French town, commune and city names do not carry a gender. 

So if you wanted to describe Paris as beautiful, you could write: Paris est belle or Paris est beau. It doesn’t matter what adjectival agreement you use. 

For most towns and cities, you would use à to evoke movement to the place or explain that you are already there, and de to explain that you come from/are coming from that location:

Je vais à Marseille – I am going to Marseille

Je suis à Marseille – I am in Marseille 

Je viens de Marseille – I come from Marseille 

But a select few settlements in France do carry a ‘Le’, a ‘La’ or a ‘Les’ as part of their name. 

In this case the preposition disappears when you begin formulating most sentences, and you structure the sentence as you would any other phrase with a ‘le’, ‘la’ or ‘les’ in it.


Le is the most common preposition for two names (probably something to do with the patriarchy) with Le Havre, La Mans, Le Touquet and the town of Le Tampon on the French overseas territory of La Réunion (more on that later)

A good example of this is Le Havre, a city in northern France where former Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, who is tipped to one day run for the French presidency, serves as mayor. 

Edouard Philippe’s twitter profile describes him as the ‘Maire du Havre’, using a masculine preposition

Here we can see that his location is Le Havre, and his Twitter handle is Philippe_LH (for Le Havre) but when he comes to describe his job the Le disappears.

Because Le Havre is masculine, he describes himself as the Maire du Havre rather than the Maire de Havre (Anne Hidalgo, for example would describe herself as the Maire de Paris). 

For place names with ‘Le’ in front of them, you should use prepositions like this:

Ja vais au Touquet – I am going to Le Touquet

Je suis au Touquet – I am in Le Touquet 

Je viens du Touquet – I am from Le Touquet 

Je parle du Touquet – I am talking about Le Touquet

Le Traité du Touquet – the Le Touquet Treaty


Some towns carry ‘La’ as part of their name. La Rochelle, the scenic town on the west coast of France known for its great seafood and rugby team, is one such example.

In French ‘à la‘ or ‘de la‘ is allowed, while ‘à le‘ becomes au and ‘de le’ becomes du. So for ‘feminine’ towns such as this, you should use the following prepositions:

Je vais à La Rochelle – I am going to La Rochelle

Je viens de La Rochelle – I am coming from La Rochelle 


And some places have ‘Les’ in front of their name, like Les Lilas, a commune in the suburbs of Paris. The name of this commune literally translates as ‘The Lilacs’ and was made famous by Serge Gainsbourg’s song Le Poinçonneur des Lilas, about a ticket puncher at the Metro station there. 

When talking about a place with ‘Les’ as part of the name, you must use a plural preposition like so:

Je suis le poinçonneur des Lilas – I am the ticket puncher of Lilas 

Je vais aux Lilas – I am going to Les Lilas

Il est né aux Lilas – He was born in Les Lilas  


Islands follow more complicated rules. 

If you are talking about going to one island in particular, you would use à or en. This has nothing to do with gender and is entirely randomised. For example:

Je vais à La Réunion – I am going to La Réunion 

Je vais en Corse – I am going to Corsica 

Generally speaking, when talking about one of the en islands, you would use the following structure to suggest movement from the place: 

Je viens de Corse – I am coming from Corsica 

For the à Islands, you would say:

Je viens de La Réunion – I am coming from La Réunion 

When talking about territories composed of multiple islands, you should use aux.

Je vais aux Maldives – I am going to the Maldives. 

No preposition needed 

There are some phrases in French which don’t require any a preposition at all. This doesn’t change when dealing with ‘Le’ places, such as Le Mans – which is famous for its car-racing track and Motorcycle Grand Prix. Phrases that don’t need a preposition include: 

Je visite Le Mans – I am visiting Le Mans

J’aime Le Mans – I like Le Mans

But for a preposition phrase, the town becomes simply Mans, as in Je vais au Mans.