French Word of the Day: Shit

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French Word of the Day: Shit
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In France, this means something quite different than the English version.


Why do I need to know shit?

Because it's key French slang that will improve your street-cred in France and also help you avoid embarrassing misunderstandings.

What does it mean?

Shit - roughly pronounced sheeet - can technically be used the same way in French as in English - such as to replace zut or merde to say 'damn'. However, most of the time, it is associated with drugs.


So if someone comes up to you in the street and asks you Vous cherchez du shit? they're not offering to show you where the nearest toilet is.

Du shit is French slang for 'cannabis' or 'hashish'. 

Strictly speaking there are differences between these terms depending on how the drug is served and prepared. Shit refers to hashish that is 'impure', so generally mixed with other ingredients (and therefore of poorer quality than the real deal). In other words, c'est de la merde - it's shit.

Cannabis is actually illegal in France, although that doesn't mean you  won't see (and smell) people smoking it on the street.

There are other French slang terms to refer to marijuana. You might hear beuh (weed), or just a French pronunciation of the word 'weed'. People also use the terms 'Cannabis' and 'Hashish'. 

Use it like this

Tu fumes du shit? - Do you smoke weed? 

Elle était défoncée. Je ne sais pas ce qu'elle avait fumé mais ce n'était pas du shit. - She was sky high. I don't know what she had smoked but it wasn't weed.

Les policiers l'ont contrôlé, il avait une barrette de shit dans son sac. - The police stopped him and he had a strip of weed in his backpack.


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Ann Sta 2023/06/26 11:49
The word shit means exactly the same in English. It has been slang for cannabis since at least the 1970s. I think you must lead sheltered lives !
Anonymous 2020/12/11 08:58
Shit was the street name for cannabis in U.K. and USA in the sixties. The French just adopted it.
Anonymous 2020/12/07 17:50
Improve our street cred or get us arrested?

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