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French word of the day: Perso

French word of the day: Perso
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Sometimes slang makes life easier for you in France.

Why do I need to know perso?

Because it’s one of those slang words that are so common that you can use them almost anywhere, plus it’s easier on the tongue than the full version.

What does it mean?

Perso is an abbreviation of personnellement (personally) or personnel (personal).

It can refer a personal record: j’ai battu mon record perso par trois minutes – I beat my personal record by three minutes.

Or to say perso, je l’aime bien – personally, I like it a lot.

It can also be used to say that something is private: c’est trop perso – that’s too personal. 

Jouer perso or se la jouer perso means to ‘playing solo’ (not being a team player).

What’s nice about perso is that it fits all of the above, which could potentially save you some energy when using it. 

Perso just one of many popular French O-ending words that really are slang, but are so popular that they have nearly replaced the actual words.

Other common examples include réglo instead of régulier (loyal/trustworthy), rando instead of randonnée (hike) and facho instead of fasciste (fascist). 

It is colloquial, but not vulgar. Young people use the expression all the time, but it’s not the kind of expression that only teenagers use. Adults say perso as well, though probably not in serious settings such as an important work meeting.

Use it like this

Perso, je ne me sens pas concerné par cette loi. – Personally, I don’t feel concerned by this law.

Elle n’aime pas de parler des choses perso devant tout le monde. – She doesn’t like talking about private matters in front of everyone.

Bien sûr, tu as le droit de le penser, c’est ton opinion perso. – Of course, you’re allowed to think that, it’s your personal opinion.


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