FOR MEMBERS

French word of the day: Plouc

French word of the day: Plouc
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Most foreigners will likely feel a little bit like this when arriving in Paris for the first time.

Why do I need to know plouc?

Whether your goal is to master the top level of Parisian arrogance, or just to unmask those who do, this is a good expression to know.

What does it mean?

Plouc is a pejorative French expression used about someone who is a little bit country, in the most literal sense.

It originated in Brittany in the late 19th century and means paysan (peasant) in the regional accent there.

At its origins it was used to poke fun at the stereotypical countryside French person as being somewhat simple and rustic.

So if you hear someone say plouc today, it means that they are a 'country bumpkin', 'yokel', 'hick', or 'hillbilly'.

It's definitely not a compliment and it implies that the person is lacking of what the French call savoir-vivre, which is an elegant yet snobbish way of saying that someone is uncouth, lacking of social-cultural capital.

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

Quel plouc – What a hick

Similarly, plouqistan or ploukistan is a pejorative way of talking about the 'place where the ploucs live'. 

Use it like this

Il n'est jamais allé à Paris, c'est un vrai plouc – He's never been to Paris, he's a real hick.

J'en peux plus de tous ces ploucs. Je te dis, c'est la dernière fois qu'on passe nos vacances dans un camping – I can't take these hillbillies anymore. I'm telling you, this is the last time we're spending our holidays in a camping.

C'était un vrai dîner des bobos, des vrais bourgeois quoi. Je ne me suis rarement senti aussi plouc. – It was a real city-snob dinner, a truly bourgeois crowd, you know. I've rarely felt like so much like a country bumpkin. 

Synonyms

Cul-terreux – arse-earthy (very colloquial way of saying that someone is from the countryside).

Péquenot – yokel

Personne rustre – loutish

Campagnard – person from the countryside 

Paysan – peasant 


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.