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French word of the day: Archi

Neither an abbreviation for architect, nor a French variant of the boy's name Archie, this little word can, when used right, fuel your sentences with extra power.

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

Why do I need to know archi?

Because it's the right recipe to spice up even the dullest of adjectives.

What does it mean?

Archi is an example of French slang that is commonly used during oral conversations to emphasise the meaning of the following adjective. It's not for a formal situation and is perhaps more common among the younger generations, but still pops up frequently in conversation.

It does not easily translate into English, but it refers to that something is 'so' something, 'extremely' something, or 'too' something.

C'est archi-bon ! – It's so good!

If you're familiar with trop, which means 'too much', it is pretty much the same concept. Just like trop, archi can go in front of any adjective to illustrate that the thing you're talking about is 'super' something. 

Ce clip est trop nul. – That clip sucks so much.

Ce clip est archi-nul. – That clip sucks so much.


Some people write archi without the dash, so archi bon instead of archi-bon.

Use it like this

You don't just label something as archi if it doesn't merit the label. If you claim something is archi something else, you really mean it. 

C'était archi-cool ta soirée ! – Your party was mega cool!

Le PSG a travaillé dur cette saison, leur jeux était archi-maitrisé lors du dernier match. – PSG (the football team, aka Paris-Saint-Germain) have been working hard this season, they played with incredible control during the last game.

Je n'en peux plus du travail, c'est archi-fou en ce moment. – I can't deal with work anymore, it's utterly mad at the moment.


Trop – too much

Extrèmement – extremely

Vachement – really

Member comments

  1. I absolutely love the French word a day!!! It has really enhanced my ability to understand French conversations, especially when listening to French movies. Love the history of the word and the sample sentences. Merci!!

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For members


French Word of the Day: Doper

This French word does not have anything to do with one of Snow White’s seven dwarves, even if it might look like it.

French Word of the Day: Doper

Why do I need to know doper?

Because you may not have realised you can use this word in several different contexts.

What does it mean?

Doper roughly pronounced doe-pay – shares the same meaning as the English word “to dope” – in the sense that it means taking or giving a stimulant before a sporting event or competition. 

It doesn’t carry the English sense of ‘to sedate’, however, nor is it used as a nickname for marijuana. 

In French this word is not only used when describing an athlete who has resorted to unfair methods to win. In fact, you will see this word in many other contexts as well because doper also means to stimulate or boost something in a generic sense. 

If you open a business newspaper in France, you might see an article using doper in the headline – perhaps one that discusses how the government plans to stimulate a dying sector of the economy.

If you want a synonym for doper, you can still use the verb stimuler (to stimulate) or dynamiser (to rejuvenate).

And Snow White? In France she is Blanche Comme Neige and the dwarfs are Prof (Doc), Timide (Bashful) Atchoum (Sneezy), Joyeux (Happy), Dormeur (Sleepy), Grincheux (Grumpy) and Simplet (Dopey).

Use it like this

La France dispose d’un plan national pour doper une énergie renouvelable prometteuse : la géothermie. – France has a national plan to boost a promising renewable energy: geothermal.

Les récentes réductions d’impôts et certaines autres mesures prévues sont destinées à doper l’emploi. – The recent tax cuts and other measures planned are intended to boost employment.