French word of the day: Impec

French word of the day: Impec
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
It can be an adjective, an adverb or an interjection, but it's always positive.

Why do I need to know impec?

Because it’s a snappy way of letting people know everything’s good.

What does it mean?

Impec is short for impeccable, which means the same in French as it does in English – perfect. It’s an informal term to describe, well, pretty much anything.

It’s basically the equivalent of the “OK” hand gesture, where you bring your thumb and forefinger together and have three fingers in the air. And it’s a good idea to have an alternative now that the gesture has been co-opted by white supremacists

It’s often used as a one-word response to a question. For example, if somebody suggests, ‘On se retrouve à 14h ?’ (Should we meet at 2pm?), you can give your assent by simply replying, ‘Impec‘.

Or in response to the question, Comment ça va ? – How’s it going? Expanding the answer, Ca va impec means things are going swimmingly, you have nothing to complain about. In this case, it’s short for the adverb impeccablement – perfectly.

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But the term can also be deployed as an adjective, to say that something’s in good condition. If you want to compliment somebody’s new car, for example, you could call it impec.

Use it like this

‘Ca a été la route ?’ ‘Impec !’ – ‘Was your journey okay?’ ‘Perfect!’

L’hôtel est très bien situé et les chambres sont impec – The hotel is in a great location and the bedrooms are tip-top

Tu as bien nettoyé le four, il est impec – You did a good job cleaning the oven, it’s spotless


Nickel – great

Parfait – perfect

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