French word of the day: Shit

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

While shit can be used the same way in French as in English – so to replace zut or merde to say 'damn' – it's mostly 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.

In French it's pronounced more like sheeeeet. 

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

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See also on The Local:

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.


Cannabis – cannabis

Haschish – hashish

Beuh – weed

Weed – weed

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