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French word of the day: Maousse

French word of the day: Maousse
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
No, this isn't what the barista adds to your coffee in Starbucks (that would be mousse).

Why do I need to know maousse?

Because it’s fun to say, and there are only so many times you can use the word énorme without it getting boring.

What does it mean?

Maousse – or maous as it’s sometimes spelled – means “huge”, or “humongous” to use a similarly informal equivalent. Although it’s not overly formal, it can be written down as well as used in spoken French.

If you’re from the UK, it should be easy to remember. It sounds like the first two syllables in the word “mahoosive” (if you don’t pronounce the h), and it has exactly the same meaning!

For an example, see the below tweet from data visualisation expert Jules Grandin referencing a maousse appel de Une (massive front page teaser) for a story in Les Echos newspaper.

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See also on The Local:

As well as being an adjective, the term can also be used as an adverb when paired with an adjective, in which case it means “massively”. For example, it’s often used alongside the adjective costaud, meaning “strong” or “well-built”.

Use it like this

Elle est maousse ta maison ! – Your house is enormous!

Ohlàlà, il doit faire beaucoup de sport, ces bras sont maousses – Wow, he must work out a lot, his arms are massive

A l’hôtel ils font un petit déj’ maousse costaud – At the hotel they do an incredibly hearty breakfast


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