French Word of the Day: Charrier

This jovial word should not be taken too seriously. But it is a useful one to know and could come in handy around the Christmas table.

French Word of the Day: Charrier
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know the word charrier? 

Because it is very versatile word with a generally playful meaning. 

What does it mean? 

Literally charrier (pronounced sha-ree-ay) means to transport something by cart. 

Its more common meaning though, is “to take the mickey out of someone/tease someone” or “to exaggerate”. 

In this context, it is similar to the English idiom of being “taken for a ride”. 

Use it like this

Mes potes aiment me charrier – My friends like teasing me 

Les jeunes se charrient sur leurs parents – Young people take the mickey out of their parents 

C’est mon droit de te charrier – It is my right to tease you

Il ne charrie pas – He is not exaggerating


Charrier is a much gentler way of expressing the following ideas:

Se moquer de quelqu’un – To mock someone 

S’amuser de quelqu’un – To make fun of someone 

Ridiculiser – To ridiculise 

Abuser – To abuse 

Member comments

  1. ‘Taking the mickey’ is nothing like ‘taken for a ride’ which is the activity of a con artist. Meanings change , sometimes based on persistent mistake or inversion i.e. wicked. “Taken for a ride ‘ could be the treatment of a victim who was defrauded , duped or conned. It is usually not the loss of a reputation but the loss of assets, cash and similar . The sale of time shares in the ’70s and ’80s was sometimes accompanied by sleight of hand or fraud. Salut.

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French Expression of the Day: La Première ministre

A brand new coinage in the French language that reflects the changing times.

French Expression of the Day: La Première ministre

Why do I need to know la Première ministre?

Because France has one now.

What does it mean?

La Première ministre – usually pronounced lah prem-ee-air mean-east-ruh– translates as “the prime minister,” but this spelling is different from what you might be used to seeing.

This title is feminised, indicating that the prime minister in question is a woman. Under former PMs such as Jean Castex, the masculine title Le Premier ministre was used.

Élisabeth Borne made headlines on May 16th not only because she was appointed as France’s second female prime minister, but also because she will be the first to use the feminisation of the work title: Madame la Première ministre. The female prime minister who held the position before her, Edith Cresson, used the masculine version of the title.

Feminising work titles has been controversial in France, and most titles like “le Premier ministre” have been automatically put in masculine form.

But in 2019, France’s infamous Academie Francaise, which polices the French language and typically resists any sweeping changes to it, changed their stance and said there was “no obstacle in principle” to the wholesale feminisation of job titles. 

Use it like this

Le Président Emmanuel Macron a fait une annonce importante. Élisabeth Borne est la Première ministre. – President Emmanuel Macron made an important announcement: Élisabeth Borne is the prime minister.

“Madame la Première ministre, qui avez-vous choisi pour diriger votre nouveau gouvernement ?” a demandé le journaliste. – “Madame Prime Minister, who have you chosen to lead your new government?” asked the journalist.