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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French expression of the day: Ta go

This one is not really French at all, but is regarded as truly hip among younger French people.

French expression of the day: Ta go
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know ta go?

It's unlikely that you will need this expression for a professional purpose, but if you're spending time with young French people it may come up.

What does it mean?

Ta go is French argot – slang that's mostly used in young circles – meaning 'your girlfriend'.

In English, ta go is probably best translated to 'your gal', or the abbreviation GF (girlfriend).

Go is not really a French word at all, it's merely a Frenchifying of the English word 'girl'.

Some say go originated because of the way French people pronounce the English word 'girl'.

Tu viens avec ta go ? – Are you coming with your gal?

Regarde, il est avec sa go.. – Look, he's with his GF..

You can also say la go or ma go, which means 'girl' or 'my girl'.

Je peux ramener ma go ? – Can I bring the missus?

Mon pote va souvent voir sa go le week-end. –  My buddy often goes to see his girlfriend on the weekend.

Synonyms

Petite copine – girlfriend

If you're in the mood for a real French party song, the clip below is a real classic. Here, the rapper Niska sings elle fait la go, which loosely can be translated to 'she's acting like a babe/princess'. In this case go replaces meuf, another slang way of saying girl.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: Soixante-huitard

About one in five people of a certain French generation can be described using this term.

French Word of the Day: Soixante-huitard

Why do I need to know soixante-huitard?

Because it references a very important part of French history and culture.

What does it mean?

Soixante-huitard – pronounced swah-sahnt wheat arr – literally means sixty-eighter. While its translation might sound a bit like a sports team (ex. Forty-niners),  this term in French has an important political and social context behind it. 

A soixante-huitard is someone who participated in the famous May 1968 protests in France. With the backdrop of the Prague Spring and the American Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests, French students and striking workers demanded a more egalitarian world in May 1968. 

This period of civil unrest lasted seven weeks and even forced then-President Charles de Gaulle to temporarily flee to West Germany. The events of this time have had a profound effect on French culture and politics. 

Around 11 million people – 22 percent of the population at the time – was involved in some way or another, and these days, those people are referred to as un soixante-huitard or une soixante-huitarde (for a woman). 

Though the term is typically reserved to refer to those actually involved in the protest movement, it can occasionally be used as a way to describe someone who has held onto the far-left ideas or sentiments from the 1968 movement.

Use it like this

Il a gardé ses convictions d’extrême-gauche longtemps après 1968. C’est un vrai soixante-huitard. – He held onto his far-left beliefs long after 1968. He is a true sixty-eighter. 

Tu pourrais être surpris que ta tante ait une soixante-huitarde. Ses opinions ont certainement changé avec le temps. Tu ne l’aurais jamais deviné ! – You might be surprised that your aunt participated in May 68. Her opinions have really changed with time, you would never have guessed it.

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