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French word of the day: Bibi

French word of the day: Bibi
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
In some parts of this world this is a grandmother or a nickname, but in France it has a more specific meaning.

Why do I need to know bibi ?

Because it’s a playful way of talking about yourself.

What does it mean?

Bibi – pronounced bee-bee – is an informal, often humoristic, stand-in for the word moi (me).

It’s often used in the phrase c’est bibi (it’s me), for example as the answer to a rhetorical question. If you want to brag about your victory at a boardgame the next time you see your friends, you might say, “Qui c’est qui a gagné ? C’est bibi !” – “Who won? That’s right, me!”

President Emmanuel Macron even used the expression in the weeks leading up to the first ‘Yellow Vest’ protest against rising fuel costs in November 2018. Called out by a member of the public during a visit to Verdun, Macron replied: “Le carburant, c’est pas bibi” (“Fuel, that’s not me”), meaning most of the price hike was due to international markets, not taxes.

To make matters more confusing, Bibi is also a nickname given to Macron’s wife, Brigitte…

Bibie with an e is a Ghanaian singer, hence the editing on this clip from satirical news show Quotidien.

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

The origins of the expression are disputed, according to an article from Le Figaro, with one possible explanation tracing it back to an abbreviation of the word “biffin”, meaning a foot soldier, while others say it was initially used to refer to children or anything small.

Use it like this

C’est qui le champion? C’est bibi ! – Who’s the champion? I am!

Qui a encore perdu son téléphone ? C’est bibi – Guess who lost here phone again. Me

Le chocolat, c’est à bibi – The chocolate is mine


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