French expression of the day: Je m’en bats les couilles

French expression of the day: Je m'en bats les couilles
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Why figuratively slapping balls is a way to show you don't care in France.

Why do I need to know je m'en bats les couilles?

Because it's one of those key swear-phrases to know in France.

What does it mean?

Translated directly, je m'en bats les couilles means something like 'I beat my balls with it'.

Couilles is French for 'balls' – as in the male genitalia and not the ones used for football – and battre means 'to punch'.

However s'en battre les couilles (beating one's balls with something) is not a referral to some (very) odd French sport – it's simply a way to express indifference.

There are lots of ways to say you don't care in French, and je m'en bats les couilles is definitely one of the most vulgar ones.

The closest English equivalent is probably 'I don't give a fuck'.

READ ALSO: Ten very French ways to say you don't care

Similarly, on s'en bat les couilles means 'who gives one'.

If you're not sure how to pronounce that, check out the video below:


If you live in France and surround yourself with youngsters, you might even hear on s'en balek, which is an abbreviation for on s'en bat les couilles.

And, in case you were wondering, s'en battre les couilles is not the only French expression involving the male genitalia, there are lots of ways to use balls in French. 

Just like in English, avoir des couilles (having balls) means being gutsy or courageous. And se faire des couilles en or (making oneself golden-balls) means becoming filthy rich.

On the more negative side, a casse-couille (ball-break) is something that is just a massive pain in the neck while avoir une couille dans le potage (to have a testicle in the soup) is roughly the same as saying 'Houston, we have a problem'. 

Use it like this

Je sais que tu es fatigué, mais je m'en bats les couilles. Je suis crevé moi aussi ! – I know you're tired, but I don't give a shit – I'm also exhausted! 

On s'en bats les couilles si ce n'est pas parfait. Le plus imporant c'est de le finir. – Who cares if it's not perfect. The most important thing is to finish it.

J'ai l'impression que tu t'en bats le couilles de ce que je viens de dire. – I feel like you did not give a shit about what I just said.


Je m'en fous – I don't give a shit

Je m'en tape  – I don't give a shit

.. and a long list of others.

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