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French word of the day: Bouffer

French word of the day: Bouffer
Planning to go hard on the oysters and foie gras this Christmas?

Why do I need to know bouffer?

Because as we're approaching Christmas, you will probably be doing it a lot.

What does it mean?

Bouffer is slang for nourriture (food) or manger (to eat). La bouffe is a very colloquial way of saying food, and j’ai bouffé is an equally colloquial way of saying that you ate something.

Bouffer has kind of a greedy clang to it, and French people often use it to express that they overate:

C’est fou comment on a bouffé chez ma grand-mère ce noël – We stuffed ourselves like crazy at grandma’s this Christmas.

Tu bouffes trop vite, tu vas t’étouffer si tu ne t'arrêtes pas de temps en temps – You’re eating too quickly, you’re going to choke if you don’t stop to chew occasionally.

J’ai craqué ce week-end, je suis allé bouffer un énorme Big Mac – I couldn’t resist, I pigged out this weekend and ate a huge Big Mac

But you can also use it as a noun:

Elle est où la bouffe? J’ai la dalle ! – Where’s the grub? I’m starving!

Do keep in mind that bouffer is so colloquial that it’s bordering on vulgar, so never use this last sentence if you’re, let’s say, visiting your French mother-in-law for a Christmas meal. 

Other options?

Bouffer is also popularly used in the expression se faire bouffer, which best can be translated to ‘be walked all over’. Sport fans often use it to describe a big win or loss, or to show off and play tough before a game.

For example:

On s’est fait bouffer hier pendant le match – We were eaten alive during the game last night.

Vous allez vous faire bouffer sur le terrain ce soir – Your team will be walked all over on the field tonight.

Or, since it's nearly Christmas, here's a phrase you should only say when surrounded by your very close friends:

Je te boufferai comme ton grand-père bouffe une bûche de Noël – I'll eat you alive like your grandfather eats the Christmas cake.


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