For members


French word of the day: ému

After this emotional rollercoaster of a year, it’s always good to learn new words that can help you express exactly how you feel.

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

Why do I need to know ému?

It’s commonly used to show you are touched by someone’s gratitude or sympathy, and shouldn’t be confused with the Australian bird.

What does it mean?

Ému or émue means ‘moved’ or ‘touched’, from the verb s’émouvoir. So when someone says Je suis ému they are not talking about one of the world’s largest living birds, but rather showing that they are moved by something.

Use it like this

Je suis toute émue – I’m all emotional

Je suis tout ému d’être ici avec vous – I’m so thrilled to be here with you

Je suis très ému de votre gentillesse – I’m very touched by your kindness


Être touché – To be touched

Avoir le coeur serré – To have a lump in your throat

S’attendrir – To be moved, touched

Not to be confused with….

Émeu – A flightless bird of Australia and second-largest living bird after the ostrich.


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For members


French Expression of the Day: Les toxicos

You'll want to be sure to only use this French expression in the right contexts.

French Expression of the Day: Les toxicos

Why do I need to know les toxicos?

Because you might want to avoid using this term if you simply want to describe someone as behaving in a toxic manner.

What does it mean?

Les toxicos roughly pronounced lay tox-ee-kohs – is the French slang term to describe “drug addict”.

The English equivalent might be “junkie”.

The word comes from a French word for drug addiction more generally. “Toxicomanie” refers to the physical and/or psychological dependence on chemical substances without prescription or therapeutic justification.

The official term for a person addicted to substances is “toximane” – and les toxicos is a shortened, more informal version of the term. 

In French, you can also use the term “dépendance” to refer to addiction as well.

READ MORE: French Expression of the Day: Les stups

Some may use this term in a derogatory way, though its usage depends on context and the person speaking.

Use it like this

Le politicien a critiqué le manque de financement de la police et a cité le fait qu’il y avait trop de toxicos près de la gare. – The politician criticised a lack of funding for police and cited the fact that there were too many drug addicts by the train station.

L’homme m’a dit que je devais faire attention en traversant le parc car il y avait beaucoup de toxicos, mais je me sentais en sécurité.– The man told me that I should be careful when crossing the park because there are many junkies, but I felt safe.