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French word of the day: Askip

This French linguistic shortcut sounds like you're going to skip something, but it really means something quite different.

French word of the day: Askip
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know askip?

Just in case someone says something is askip – don't think it's happening ASAP, or that they're saying they'll skip it.

What does it mean?

Askip is an abbreviation of à ce qu’il paraît, which means ‘apparently’ in English.

While à ce qu’il paraît is not informal, the shortcut version askip is pretty colloquial, first made popular by French rappers and teens.

Like the English expression ASAP (as soon as possible), askip is used especially when texting.

Askip la prof n'est pas là aujourd'hui – apparently the teacher isn't here today

Il avait mal à la tête hier soir, askip il va quand même venir – he had a headache last night, apparently he's still coming

Tu viens manger ce midi ? Askip il y a des frites à la cantine – Are you coming to eat at lunch? Apparently there are fries in the cafeteria?

The French language guardians disapprove of using the expression à ce qu'il paraît “dans une langue soignée” – in a neat language – which means you should definitely avoid using askip when texting a French parent in law, your boss, or similar.


Apparemment – apparently

Vraisemblablement – presumably

Il semblerait – it seems like

READ ALSO 15 French 'text speak' abbreviations to help you sound local

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For members


French Word of the Day: Bordéliser

This French expression is not the kindest, but it will certainly get your point across.

French Word of the Day: Bordéliser

Why do I need to know bordéliser?

Because when things feel chaotic, you might want to use this word.

What does it mean?

Bordéliser roughly pronounced bore-del-ee-zay – comes from the swear word “bordel” which means brothel.

In popular usage, bordel is used to describe a mess or a chaotic environment, and bordéliser turns the bordel into a verb – meaning to make or create disorder, disaster or chaos. 

During periods of unrest in France, you may hear people blame one group for causing the problem by using this expression. Keep in mind that bordéliser is not polite language – the English equivalent might be to “fuck (or screw) something up”.

One popular theory says that the root word bordel comes from medieval French – at the time, sex workers were explicitly not allowed to work near the ports, so they were relegated to wooden huts or small houses – or bordes, in French –  away from the city.

You may also hear another French expression that uses the same root word: “c’est le bordel”. 

This literally translates to “it’s a brothel” but it is used to describe a situation that’s untidy, messy or chaotic, both literally and figuratively as in  ‘what a bloody mess!’ or ‘it’s mayhem!’ or ‘what a disaster!’

Use it like this

Le militant accuse le gouvernement de bordéliser le pays avec sa réforme impopulaire. – The activist accuses the government of “fucking up” the country with its unpopular reform.

Tu as bordélisé l’appartement et notre dynamique de colocation en achetant le singe comme animal de compagnie. Qu’est-ce qui t’a pris ? – You have screwed up the apartment and our roommate dynamic by buying the monkey as a pet. What were you thinking?