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French expression of the day: Caca boudin

A key expression for parents, this is also entering the political discourse.

French expression of the day: Caca boudin
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know caca boudin?

It's a key expression to know for parents with children in French schools, but it's also also helpful if you want a really childish insult for someone.

What does it mean?

Directly translated, caca boudin means 'poo sausage'. Caca is the French term for 'poo', while boudin is the blood sausage many consider a delicacy in France.

There's boudin noir (black blood sausage, similar to British black pudding) and boudin blanc (white blood sausage).


Whatever one's feelings about the boudin might be, when combined with caca, it becomes an insult that is similar to 'poo head' in English.

French children are the most eager users of this gros mot (swear word), and it's not uncommon for young kids who just started maternelle (pre school) to shout out caca boudin to show their discontent.

READ ALSO: The words you need to know if you have children in France

French adults too have picked up caca boudin, even if putain, merde and mince all are probably more common insults.

If a child (or an adult) howls caca boudin it means they don't like something, be it the steamed broccoli at the dinner table, or the country's interior minister (see photo below).


French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is definitely not the most popular politician in France right now, but – to his own misfortune – his name also rhymes with boudin.

During Saturday's protest against the controversial security law that was passed in French parliament last week but still is subject to ferocious debate, at least two placards (the one above and the one in the picture below) compared Darmanin to caca boudin:


Use it like this

There's not a lot of ways to go here, usually caca boudin is used as an interjection:

Caca boudin ! – Poo head!

Caca boudin can also refer to the act of throwing a tantrum: 

Arrête de faire ton caca boudin ! – Stop throwing a tantrum! 

S'il n'a pas ce qu'il veut à Noël, il va encore faire son caca boudin. – If he doesn't get what he wants for Christmas he will throw another tantrum.

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French Expression of the Day: Ça tape

The long-range forecast suggests that this will be a handy phrase this summer.

French Expression of the Day: Ça tape

Why do I need to know ça tape?

Because you might want a way to describe the feeling of walking down a long boulevard with no shade in sight…or a techno concert.

What does it mean?

Ça tape usually pronounced sah tap – literally translates to ‘it taps’ or ‘it hits.’ The verb being used is taper, which means to hit or slap, and colloquially can be used to seek monetary support from someone. It is also the verb for ‘to type.’ But when spoken, this phrase does not involve violence, financial assistance, or note-taking.

Ça tape is a way to say ‘it’s scorching’ and complain about the hot weather or the search for shade. If someone uses it under a hot sun, and they say “ça tape”  or “ça tape fort” they’re referring to the particularly violent, piercing heat.

It can also be used to say something is intense, particularly in relation to music. It bears a similar colloquial meaning to the English informal phrase “it hits” or “it’s banging.” For example, you might be at a loud concert listening to a particularly passionate DJ – this might be a good scenario to employ ‘ça tape.’

The first meaning, which refers to the heat, is more commonly used across generations, whereas the second might be heard more from a younger audience. 

 Use it like this

Dès que je suis sortie de l’appartement et que je suis entrée dans la rue, j’ai dit “Ça tape !” car le soleil était si fort.– As soon as I stepped out of the apartment and into the street, I said to myself “it’s blazing!” because the sun was so strong.

Ce festival est incroyable, tout le monde est dans le même esprit. Ouh t’entends cette basse ? Ça tape !  – This festival is amazing, everyone is really in the same mood. Do you hear that bass? It’s banging.