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French Word of the Day: Branché

This word has multiple meanings, most of which are positive.

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

Why do I need to know branché? 

Because being branché is no bad thing. 

What does it mean? 

Branché, pronounced “bron-shay”, has multiple meanings. 

Une branche, is the French word used to denote the branch of a tree. 

In this respect, branché can be used in a botanical sense or to describe an object’s position relative to a tree. 

Les merles sont branchés – the blackbirds are sitting on the branch 

But more often than not, the word is used to mean “plugged in” or “connected” in a literal and metaphorical sense. 

For example, when talking about electrical appliances, you could use the following phrases:

Le cordon d’alimentation doit être branché – the power cord must be plugged in

Le téléphone peut être branché au dispositif  – the phone can be connected to the device 

If you wanted to use it as a verb, you could say:

Je branche mon micro – I am connecting my microphone 

When a person is branché it means that they are well connected, fashionable or on top of the latest news. It is thought that this meaning could come from pre-revolutionary France when having an aristocratic branch in the family tree would likely mean that someone was better connected and had greater life chances. 

Elle est très branchée avec un réseau énorme – she is very well connected and has an enormous network

À Paris Fashion Week, il y a trop de gens branchés – at Paris Fashion week there are too many of the in-crowd 

Ce journaliste est très branché – this journalist is very well connected/has good sources


À la mode – fashionable

En vogue – fashionable 

Au courant – up to date

Connecté – connected

Relié – linked up

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For members


French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?


Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener