French expression of the day: Ça va chauffer

French expression of the day: Ça va chauffer
It's a sign there may be mayhem coming.

Why do I need to know ça va chauffer?

Because you will know when to get out of the way.

What does it mean?

If you have ever been to a protest in Paris, maybe you have heard a protester or a police officer say ça va chauffer! – ‘it’s going to get heated!’

In this context, chauffer means ‘trouble’, not ‘warmth’. It’s a warning that something could be about to happen, in this case – seeing as you are at a protest – that ‘something’ most likely refers to a potentially violent situation.

Ça va chauffer, je le sens. Il va y avoir des grabuges là. – 'Trouble is coming, I can feel it. There is about to be mayhem.’

Needless to say, it’s a sign to get out of the way.


A synonym to ça va chauffer is ça va péter, which is even more dramatic in tone. Péter – which is very informal – means ‘explode’ as in 'this is going to blow up'.

You might also want to check out our previous explanation of  the expression péter les plombs.

It's not only for use if you're demonstrating though, there are a wide variety of situations where this could be appropriate.

So ça va chauffer does not necessarily refer to violence, it simply means that a current tension will slide over into some form of argument – delightfully illustrated by the tweet below.

“Look at his face as he sees himself on the big screen. It's going to be heated when they get back home.


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