French word of the day: Gosse

French word of the day: Gosse
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
For kids, brats and French pretty-boys.

Why do I need to know gosse?

Because you want to appreciate when someone calls you a beau/belle gosse.

What does it mean?

Gosse means 'kid' or 'not adult'. It's a slang way of saying enfant, similar to gamin.

It can be used on both girls or boys, and isn't limited to small children.

You can use it to say that someone isn't mature

C'était une gosse de 15 ans quoi – She was a kid of only 15.

Or as a referral to someone's children

Ils ont trois gosses – They have three kids.

Add sale (dirty) and it becomes a common insult

J'en ai marre de vous, sales gosses! – I'm sick of you brats! 


Beau gosse, on the other hand, means ‘good looking’ (belle gosse for women).

You can shorten it down to BG and it's roughly equivalent to 'pretty boy'.

As in English, this can be either a compliment or an insult depending on how you use it.

So you might use it admiringly to discuss how Christiano Ronaldo's hair stays in place for 80 minutes during a football game, or you might also use it dismissively to suggest that while Christiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly very pretty, he might also not be troubling MENSA for membership any time soon.

Use it about yourself

Je me sentais tellement beau gosse. – I felt so good looking.


Or as a caption

Quand tu sais que tu es beau gosse. – When you know that you’re good looking.


Or about your favourite four-legged companion

Ou quand ton chien est trop beau gosse. – When your dog is just too good looking.



Other ways of saying gosse are gamin, enfant, bambin, mome or marmot.

Don’t use it like this..

If you travel to Canada, be a little careful when saying gosse. For the québécois, gosse can also refer to ‘annoying’ or a vulgar slang expression meaning ‘testicles’.


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.