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French word of the day: Blindé

As Christmas Eve approaches you will definitely want to know whether or not to use this expression in front of the kids.

French word of the day: Blindé

Why do I need to know blindé?

If you use it wrongly it could have decisive impact on everyone's holiday expectations.

What does it mean?

If you say je suis blindé, a slang expression, you are claiming to be ‘filthy rich’, ‘made of money’ or just ‘loaded’. 

A popular expression among French rappers, blindé features in the book Tout l’argot des banlieues, (All the Banlieue Slang), for example in the famous rapper Orelsan's song Si seul, (So alone).

Les jaloux croient que j’suis blindé, c’est pas l’avis de ma banque – Jealous people think I’m loaded, my bank doesn’t agree

How do I use it?

It's a pretty informal expression, so use it in a young crowd or among friends.

C’est moi qui prends les shots, on vient de me payer et je suis blindé de thunes! – Shots are on me, I just got paid and I’m loaded with cash!

Si je suis aussi bien sapé, c'est forcément que je suis blindé – If I’m well-dressed, it’s obviously because I’m loaded.

By now you have probably understood that dropping blindé in front of French speaking kids could radically change their expectations for the size of the gifts underneath the Christmas tree. If you want to damage control, you could say:

Faut pas exagérer, papa n'est pas blindé quand même – Don't get your hopes up too high, dad's not made of money you know!


Other than the more obvious riche, there are several other, less colloquial ways of saying that someone has a lot of money.

Aisé is often used as a term to describe those ‘better-off’, for example when talking about the wealthier part of the population in socio-economic terms.

There is also fortuné and opulent, or rupin (which means ‘posh' or 'plushy').

Of the less formal ones, you have friqué, huppé, bourré (drunk with money) or calé. All mean having (more than) enough to fill your needs. 

Other options

Blindé has other meanings in addition to 'loaded'. For example, it is commonly used to describe that something is full.

Le Metro était blindé – The Metro was packed

It can also mean that you yourself are full, like full of food or alcohol:

On a bu tellement de vin hier soir, je suis rentré chez moi complètement blindé – We had so much wine last night, I was completely drunk when I got home.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Tarte à la crème

This expression is more than just your last order at the boulangerie.

French Expression of the Day: Tarte à la crème

Why do I need to know tarte à la crème ?

Because if someone uses this phrase to describe you, you should probably be a bit offended.

What does it mean?

Tarte à la crème – pronounced tart ah lah krem – literally refers to a cream filled tart, or a custard tart, in English. However, this expression has more to do than just baking. It is another way of describing something that is boring, predictable or commonplace.

This expression comes straight from Moliere himself. In the 17th century, there was a popular rhyming game called “Corbillon.” The phrase “Je vous passe mon corbillon” (I pass you by corbillon) is said, and then it is followed by “Qu’y met-on?” (What does one put on it?) To keep the rhyme up, people must respond with something ending in an -ON sound.

In the play, “L’Ecole des Femmes” (The School of Wives), one character says the ideal woman would respond to the question with “tarte à la crème” which is obviously the wrong answer. The right answer would be tarte à la citron (lemon tart). Molière did this on purpose to poke fun at the fact that disgruntled fans would send poor actors cream tarts to express their frustration.

It was a way of ridiculing his critics and showing he was unimpressed by their method of showing discontentment at his plays. Over time, the phrase went on to describe things that are commonplace or boring. It is often used to describe entertainment related topics, such as books, movies, or plays.

A synonym for this phrase in French might be banal and in English you might say something is ‘vanilla’ to describe something that is fairly unexciting.

Use it like this

Le film était vraiment tarte à la crème. Je ne recommande pas d’aller le voir au cinéma, vous pouvez attendre de le voir une fois qu’il sera gratuit en ligne. – The movie was really boring. I don’t recommend going to see it at the movies, you can simply wait to see it once it is free online.

Je pense que l’album est tarte à la crème. Elle a pris tellement d’idées d’autres artistes que ce n’est vraiment pas original du tout. – I think the album is predictable. She really took plenty of ideas from other artists and it was not original at all.