French word of the Day: Nunuche

French word of the Day is nunuche
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
If you feel like bad-mouthing but a nice way, this word is for you. 

Why do I need to know Nunuche?

Because it’s a way of criticising a person or a thing, but in a mild and good-natured way. It’s also very idiomatic.

What does it mean? 

Nunuche is used to mean that a person is naïve, simple-minded, but ultimately not malicious. It can also be used for a thing that is silly or inconsequential.

It comes from nunu, a very popular noun after World War I meaning “trifle, silliness,” something without importance or interest. As for uche, it was a typical Parisian slang suffix, connoting friendliness and tenderness. 

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See also on The Local:

Nunuche is believed to have appeared in a Parisian workers’ district between 1925-1930 but now used across the country.

Use it like this

Cette fille est complètement nunuche, non ? – This girl is completely silly, isn’t she?

Arrête de faire ta nunuche ! – Stop acting silly!

Eric m’a raconté une histoire un peu nunuche qui le fait beaucoup rire. – Eric told me a slightly dumb story that makes him laugh of lot. 


Niais – Simple

Bébête – Goofy 

Idiot – Sappy

Fade – Vapid

Stupide – Dumb

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