French word of the day: Se goinfrer

French word of the day: Se goinfrer
Learn this and you're ready for Christmas.

Why do I need to know se goinfrer

Because it’s that time of the year.. 

What does it mean?

Se goinfrer is a French way of saying that one is stuffing oneself with food. It can literally be translated to manger salement et voracement, ‘eating voraciously like a pig’. At the same time the expression implies that the food being stuffed is delicious. La goinfrerie refers to the process of devouring food with great appetite.

Il s'est goinfre de chocolat – He stuffed his face with chocolate.

So, if there's anytime to use se goinfrer, it's during the Christmas holidays – perhaps the only time of the year when pigging out is encouraged.

On va bien se goinfrer ce noel! – ‘We’re going to stuff our faces this Christmas!’

C'est clair que tante Muriel a abandonné sa régime. T'as vu comment elle s'est goinfré chez mamie? Aunt Muriel clearly stopped her diet. Did you see how she stuffed herself at grandma's?

Vaut mieux éviter de trop se goinfrer à l'apéro pour garder de l'appétit pour les plats délicieux à venir – Better not stuff oneself during the apéro and save your appetite for the rest of the delicious meal.


Another very common French term that means nearly the same is gourmand/gourmandise

There is however a subtle difference between la gourmandise and la goinfrerie, dating back to the 18th century in France. While gourmandise is regarded as a quality, a virtue even, gonfrerie is not. A gourmand loves good food and eats it with delight, but not in a piggish manner. And, as we've seen, the piggishness is implied in se goinfrer.

If someone calls you a gourmand during Christmas, wear the label proudly! In a country that prides itself with its culinary exquisiteness, being a gourmand is proof you're one of them. But it someone tells you to ne pas trop te goinfrer du foie gras – to goo a little less heavy on the foie gras, it might be wise to chew a little slower.

Gloutonnerie is another word for gonfrerie, which also – unlike gourmandise –  implies some sort of pigging out

You can also use se bâfrer or s’empiffrer, which both mean ‘to stuff oneself’ or ‘to guzzle’.

Other options?

In addition to the verb se goinfrer, goinfre is also a noun. Manger comme un goinfre means ‘to eat like a pig’

Sebastien est un tel goinfre ! Il a mangé 10 crêpes ce midi. – Sebastien is such a pig! He ate 10 pancakes for lunch.

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