French word of the day: Pécho

French word of the day: Pécho
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This versatile verb will sometimes make you blush.

Why do I need to know pécho?

If you understand pécho, you will be able to navigate a crucial part of French slang culture.

What does it mean?

Pécho is an example of verlan, which is French argot constructed by reversing the order of syllables in a word.

(The word verlan itself is an example of verlan  l'envers means 'the inverse'.)

Young people are avid users of verlan, and sometimes verlan words – like pécho – are examples of slang of slang. It's all pretty cryptic so it's ok if you're already dizzy.

To clarify, pécho is verlan of choper, which means 'to grab' or 'catch'.

Il faut que je m'en aille, je dois choper le metro. – I have to go, I need to catch the metro.

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But choper can also mean 'making out', 'hook up' or 'seduce', although people tend to use pécho more for this purpose.

On s'est pécho.  – We made out.

Use it like this

Pécho – like choper – therefore has two main meanings, 'take'/'grab'/'catch' and 'make out'/'hook up'/'seduce'.  

French people tend to use choper more when talking about 'taking' something, while pécho is more common when talking about romantic successes. There is even a French movie called T'as pécho ? (Have you made out?).

Tu es au courant qu'il se sont pécho vendredi ? – Are you aware that they hooked up on Friday?

Gilles n'est pas encore sorti de sa chambre, je crois qu'il à pécho en boite hier soir. – Gilles hasn't come out of his room yet, I think he picked somebody up at the club last night.

You can of course also use pécho when talking about 'catching' or 'taking' something too:

Il s'est fait pécho par sa mère. – He was caught by his mother.

For more pécho.. 

For those especially interested in French slang, the 2016 French film Five (trailer below) has recently arrived on Netflix. It's a lighthearted and easily digestible film whose cast of young Parisians use a lot of verlan and other slang so it's a great way to increase your vocab (even during the summer heat).

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