French Expression of the Day: Les darons

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French Expression of the Day: Les darons
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

You might hear a lot of teenagers in France using this French expression


Why do I need to know les darons?

Because if you are a parent, then you might hear your kids refer to you as this word.

What does it mean?

Les darons roughly pronounced lay dah-ron – is a French slang term for ‘parents’. 

In the last two decades, the term daron has become one of the most popular ways for kids to refer to their parents. Daron is the informal version of father or dad, and daronne is for mother or mom. Together les darons are parents, and the word is fairly neutral - it is not necessarily positive or negative. 


Previously the more common informal way of referring to parents might be “mes vieux” (my old folks), but most youth stick to mes darons these days. 

Even though the expression has become commonly used in recent years, the word daron has much older origins.

It first originated in the 13th century, as the word for a ‘small castle’. By the 1600s, it went on to describe the ‘master of the house’ which eventually turned into both ‘father’ and ‘boss’ in the following century.

As with a few other slang terms in French, there is also a connection to brothels with this word. In the 1800s, a daron was also a cabaret or brothel keeper, though interestingly enough in the 1830s some people apparently used daron to also reference the ‘head of the police’ according to Le Figaro.

Outside of these historical explanations, another time you might hear the word daron employed would be in the expression “Fais pas ton daron!” which basically means “don’t act like a parent” or “don’t act like the boss”.

Use it like this

Je dois vérifier avec mes darons si je peux aller au cinéma demain. – I have to check with my parents to see if it’s okay for me to go to the movies tomorrow night.

Le daron du gamin est très strict et l'oblige à faire beaucoup de travail supplémentaire les week-ends. – The kid's dad is really strict and forces him to do a lot of extra work on the weekends.


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