For members


French Word of the Day: Viandard

You might want to be careful using this phrase to describe your friend who loves to grill.

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

Why do I need to know viandard?

Because you should be aware of this word’s other meanings when simply trying to describe your friend who enjoys eating steak.

What does it mean?

Viandard roughly pronounced vee-ahn-darr – combines the root “viande” (meat) with the suffix “-ard” which typically connects the root word to a type of person. For example, “un montagnard” would be someone who likes and belongs in the mountains (les montagnes).

So it can be used to simply refer to someone who loves eating meat, as in the advert below for vegan bacon lardons in which the text translates as “There’s a Jewish person, a meat-lover, a Muslim and a vegan at the same table. And it’s not a joke”. 

But given the other meanings of this word, you might want to be careful how you use it.

It can also mean a hunter who only cares about accumulating as much game as possible and can be used as a pejorative way to describe a poacher or someone who does not respect animals or nature.

The term has also gained another meaning outside of hunting – more generally, a viandard is “unscrupulous” – a person who exploits others for their own gain. One English translation might “a vulture.”

Use it like this

Il déteste les légumes et vraiment tout ce qui est de couleur verte. Il ne supporte que la viande, c’est un vrai viandard. – He hates vegetables and really anything green in colour. He can only stomach meat, he is a real carnivore.

Le directeur général est un viandard. Il se fiche que ses employés gagnent moins que le SMIC tant que l’entreprise fait des bénéfices – The CEO is unscrupulous. He does not care that his workers make below the minimum wage as long as the company turns a profit.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Les toxicos

You'll want to be sure to only use this French expression in the right contexts.

French Expression of the Day: Les toxicos

Why do I need to know les toxicos?

Because you might want to avoid using this term if you simply want to describe someone as behaving in a toxic manner.

What does it mean?

Les toxicos roughly pronounced lay tox-ee-kohs – is the French slang term to describe “drug addict”.

The English equivalent might be “junkie”.

The word comes from a French word for drug addiction more generally. “Toxicomanie” refers to the physical and/or psychological dependence on chemical substances without prescription or therapeutic justification.

The official term for a person addicted to substances is “toximane” – and les toxicos is a shortened, more informal version of the term. 

In French, you can also use the term “dépendance” to refer to addiction as well.

READ MORE: French Expression of the Day: Les stups

Some may use this term in a derogatory way, though its usage depends on context and the person speaking.

Use it like this

Le politicien a critiqué le manque de financement de la police et a cité le fait qu’il y avait trop de toxicos près de la gare. – The politician criticised a lack of funding for police and cited the fact that there were too many drug addicts by the train station.

L’homme m’a dit que je devais faire attention en traversant le parc car il y avait beaucoup de toxicos, mais je me sentais en sécurité.– The man told me that I should be careful when crossing the park because there are many junkies, but I felt safe.