French word of the day: Farfelu

French word of the day: Farfelu
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Perhaps we’ve all become a bit more of this since the coronavirus lockdown started.

Why do I need to know farfelu?

Because it’s a great French expression for when you’re feeling a little weird, and that's okay.

What does it mean?

Farfelu is a adjective to describe someone with a bit of a quirky personality. 

It can mean ‘weird,’ ‘wacky’, ‘eccentric’, ‘extravagant’, ‘burlesque’, original or even ‘baroque’. Take your pick.

Une personne farfelue is 'a weirdo'.


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See also on The Local:

If you have adopted unusual habits during the coronavirus lockdown – which, admit it, we all have – tu es peut-être devenu un peu farfelu(e) ? – Perhaps you have become a bit quirky?

L'autre jour j'ai chanté des chansons Britney Spears et bu du champagne toute seule pendant trois heures. Je suis devenue complètement farfelue ! – The other day I sang Britney Spears songs and drank champagne all by myself for three hours. I've become such a weirdo!

But mostly, farfelu is used as a way to say que quelque chose est dingue – that something is crazy.

For example: c'est une idée farfelue – that's a crazy (bad) idea

Une sortie farfelue is 'a crazy trip out', which in one article by French media Midi Libre referred to the oddest explanations people gave the police for having left their homes during lockdown.

The article was titled Les alibis les plus farfelus – The craziest (lousiest) alibis.

Among the listed achats farfelus (weird purchases) used to justify being outside for essential shopping were sun-screen, an indoor exercise bike and gluten free food.

Admittedly there is little farfelu about being gluten intolerant, but the police said never had they seen as many gluten allergic people out and about. 

Comportement farfelu? – Bizarre behaviour ?


Bizarre – odd

Original – original

Excentrique – excentric 

Fantasque – whimsical

Foufou – cray-cray

Lofoque – crazy

Dingue – crazy

Absurde – Absurd

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