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FRENCH LANGUAGE

The new French words added to the dictionary

The latest edition of France's Larousse dictionary set to be published this June, and it has announced it will add 150 new words.

The new French words added to the dictionary
A woman holds the 2015 copy of the French Larousse dictionary (Photo by FRED DUFOUR / AFP)

Each year, France’s Larousse dictionary holds up a mirror to society, showing its evolution by making official the words and phrases that were most important in the year previous. This year, in preparation of its 2023 edition, the dictionary added 150 new words, which according to the publishing company, “testify to both the vitality and diversity of the French language.”

These are the words that have gotten people talking the most:

Covid long

After over two years of Covid-19, it is not surprising that a number of coronavirus-related words have entered the dictionary. “Covid long” refers to the condition of lingering Covid-19 symptoms, sometimes for weeks or months after infection. Other Covid-19 related words and phrases that are now included in the Larousse are: passe vaccinal (vaccine pass), passe sanitaire (sanitary pass), vaccinateur or vaccinatrice (vaccinator), vaccinodrome (vaccine center), and distanciel (at a distance).

Wokisme

The noun “wokisme,” which made headlines and sparked controversy this past year, is now defined by the Larousse as follows: “Woke-inspired ideology, centered on questions of equality, justice and the defense of minorities, sometimes perceived as an attack on republican universalism.”

Le séparatisme

Another word reflective of the political climate in France, “Séparatisme” has been added to the dictionary under the definition “the will of a minority, usually religious, to place its own laws above national legislation.” A lot of times, you will see this word in debates surrounding religion and immigration.

Grossophobie

Grossophobie” is defined as “a hostile, mocking and/or contemptuous, even discriminatory, attitude towards obese or overweight people.” In English, this word is “fatphobia.”

NFT

The rise of tech and all things crypto is not specific to the anglophone word. Now, the English acronym, NFT, has made its way into the French dictionary, defined in French as “Les jetons non fongibles” (Non-fungible tokens). 

l’Halloumi

Finally, the Larousse dictionary added plenty of words with non-French origins, like “Halloumi” which is a type of cheese made from mixed goat and sheep’s milk that is originally from Cyprus.

The Larousse 2023 will also include other new words from different foreign languages, like konjac (a Japanese plant), kakapo (a New Zealand parrot), tomte (a Swedish elf) and yodel (a singing technique from the German-speaking Alps).

These are just a few of the 64,000 words that will be included in the 2023 version of the dictionary.

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FRENCH LANGUAGE

‘Putain de bordel de merde’: How to use the F-word in French

If there was a World Cup of swearing, the English language would surely win with the F-word - but what's the best way to translate the myriad of F-word phrases into French? We have prepared this guide, which unsurprisingly contains a lot of explicit language.

'Putain de bordel de merde': How to use the F-word in French

Perhaps one of the reasons why the French – and many other Europeans – like to use ‘f*ck’ is the word’s incredible versatility. It can be a noun, a verb or an adverb and can mean that something is incredibly good, incredibly bad and virtually everything in between.

French does have its own very versatile swearword – the majestic putain – but it doesn’t quite have the range of the F-word.

We’ve therefore put together this very foul-mouthed guide on the best ways to say Fuck in French.

Surprise

Say you’ve spilled hot coffee on yourself, you’ve just discovered that the préfecture is closed after you travelled two hours to get there or someone is showing you something particularly insane on Twitter – you need an F-word for surprise, shock or incredulity.

Putain – F*ck [this literally translates as ‘whore’ but is used in French more as we would use f*ck. If you want to actually call someone a whore, you use pute. Putain also has lots of non-f*ck uses]

Fait chier – F*ck [literally – to make shit]

Merde – F*ck [shit] 

C’est quoi ce bordel? – What the f*ck? [what is this brothel?]

Tu te fous de ma gueule? – Are you f*cking with me? 

Anger

Feel the need to shout abuse at someone or just express your dissatisfaction with the driving skills of your fellow motorists? Then you want an angry f*ck. 

Putain de bordel de merde – For f*ck’s sake [the literal translation here is the majestic ‘whore of the brothel of shit’]

Va te faire foutre – F*ck off

Va te faire enculer – Go F*ck yourself up the a**. 

Ferme ta gueule – Shut the f*ck up [shut your jaws]

Casse toi – F*ck off 

Je vais te niquer/défoncer – I will fuck you up 

Je t’emmerde – F*ck you [I put you in the shit]

Nique ta mère – F*ck your mum 

Nique ta race – F*ck you [literally this means f*ck your race – but the expression is commonly used between friends of the same ethnicity] 

Dégages-toi – F*ck off

Sex

In English the verb ‘to f*ck’ is used an an explicit way to talk about having sex. In French there’s less crossover between sex phrases and angry/surprised phrases, although niquer is a notable exception that can be used for both. Despite its origin as a word for a prostitute, putain is virtually never used in a sexual way.

Baiser – F*ck [used to talk about two people who have had sex, or perhaps a person that you’ve had sex with. It’s not in itself offensive, although it is explicit] 

Niquer/Poutrer/foutre/défoncer – F*ck [again to have sex with, but more explicit and often aggressive]

Enculer – F*ck [to have anal sex with, can be simply descriptive but is often used as an insult or threat]

Dismissal

Really, really don’t care about your neighbours’ ongoing dispute over recycling rules? If you have already explained that you’re not interested you may need to wheel out the nuclear option and tell them that you don’t give a f*ck. 

Je m’en fous – I don’t give a f*ck 

Je m’en bat les couilles – I don’t give a f*ck [literally – I beat it against my balls] 

J’en ai rien à branler – I don’t give a f*ck [I have nothing to masturbate]

Mistakes

As a foreigner in France you’re highly likely to f*ck up from time to time, there’s a lot to get your head around. If you’re dealing with the mairie you might want to stick to the more polite j’ai fait une erreur, but there are times when you need to let rip and explain just how badly you have messed this up.

J’ai déconné – I f*cked up 

J’ai merdé – I f*cked up [I sh*tted] 

J’ai fait de grosses conneries – I really f*cked up 

J’ai foiré – I f*cked up 

J’ai foutu le bordel – I made a f*cking mess

Inebriation 

Don’t believe those people who try to tell you that the French elegantly sip one glass of wine all evening. Sure, some do but others like to get drunk and the French language has a nice variety of phrases to describe the state of being inebriated, drunk, battered or simply f*cked.

Je suis défoncé/foncedé – I am f*cked 

Je suis boussilé – I am f*cked [wrecked]

Je suis foutu – I am f*cked up 

And a note on F*ck

The French like to use the English word f*ck – in fact they use it a lot and in situations that to an English speaker seem rather inappropriate. For various reasons – perhaps because they tend to translate it as putain which isn’t always particularly strong, perhaps simply because foreign words seem less shocking – the French generally have no conception of how strong f*ck is.

You’ll hear it said in front of kids, you’ll even see kids wearing slogan T-shirts with it on.

READ MORE Why do the French love to say ‘f**k’ so much?

And just in case anyone was under the impression that the French are a polite nation who don’t do in for much swearing, check out this video from a group of French humorists known as Les inconnus – who are sometimes compared to Monty Python. 

The clip features more than one minute of dialogue composed uniquely of the same three curses.  

Enjoy!

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