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French word of the day: Daron

French word of the day: Daron
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Daron might look like a boy's name to English-speakers, but it refers to something quite different in France.

Why do I need to know daron?

Because it’s a slang expression that young people in France use often. It's also newsy this week, in a story that not only has caused a stir in France, but also teaches us about subtleties in French language.

What does it mean?

Daron is a colloquial French term that refers to 'father'.

It can also mean 'parent'; mes darons is slang for 'my folks' or 'my parents'.

Similarly, daronne is feminine and means 'mother'.

Like most French slang, teenagers are the most frequent users of daron, daronne and darons.

On Saturday, French daily Libération titled the front page of its weekend paper Daron noir, accompanied by an eye catching black and white picture of Education Minister Jean Michel Blanquer.

 

The paper claims that Blanquer had used his position as education minister to boost pro-government sentiment by favouring a certain student union.

There are three reasons why the title is so catchy in French.

Firstly, Daron noir is a wordplay on Baron noir, the famous French political drama series in which a politician uses dirty means to get what he wants.

Secondly, daron is a term that those affected by Blanquer's alleged actions – high schoolers – are known as using when talking about their (old and strict) parents. 

Thirdly, daron can also mean patron (boss) or the top authority in a hierarchy, ie the education minister.

Use it like this

Je ne peux pas venir ce soir, mes darons m'ont interdit de sortir en semaine. –  I can't come tonight, my folks have banned me from going out on weekdays.

Franchement ton daron abuse, je trouve qu'il est trop stricte. – Frankly your dad's exaggerating, I think he's too strict. 

Tu as demandé a ton daron ? – Have you asked your boss?


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