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French word of the day: Huppé

French word of the day: Huppé
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Because knowing how to label the rich is an important part of your French education.

Why do I need to know huppé?

Because it is sometimes more accurate than its wider synonym riche (rich).

What does it mean?

Huppé can refer to a bird had has a huppe (puff of feathers) on its head, but here it means ‘posh’, ‘well-to-do’ or ‘upper crust’.

Whether there is a link between being posh and that feathery crown some birds are equipped with is not really clear. But the image can be helpful for remembering the meaning of huppé, if you think about those huge, feathery hats upper-class women used to wear back in the day.

Huppé implies more than simply having a lot of money. French dictionary Larousse defines huppé as someone who both is rich and comes from a high social class.

But it can also be a thing or a place. An expensive and extravagant restaurant is huppé, a wealthy part of Paris as well (like ‘swanky’ in English).

Huppé is an adjective, so you say une personne huppée (a posh person), des gens huppés (posh people), un endroit huppé (a posh place).

Use it like this

Ils vont toujours dans des restaurants huppés, ce n’est pas trop mon genre. – They always go to fancy restaurants, it’s not really my style.

Elle fait partie de la famille la plus huppée de la ville. Si tu avais vu leur maison.. – She’s part of the poshest family in town. If you’d seen their house..

Nos bureaux sont dans un quartier assez huppé, mais il y en a quelques endroits très sympatiques pour déjeuner. – Our offices are in a pretty chic area, but there are a few quite nice places to have lunch.

Synonyms

Cossu – well-to-do

Aisé – well-to-do

Privilégié – privileged 


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