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French Word of the Day: NTM

The Local France
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French Word of the Day: NTM
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

You'll likely see this - very much NSFW - acronym a lot in France.

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Why do I need to know NTM?

Because you might see it included in French graffiti, and it's also the name of a famous French rap group.

What does it mean?

NTM roughly pronounced ehn tay ehm is a French slang abbreviation for the insult nique ta mère

This phrase is certainly offensive and explicit and it is to be used with caution. It translates to ‘f*ck your mother’ in English. 

Despite being vulgar, it is commonly used amongst French youth, sometimes aggressively as an insult and sometimes as a joking retort when poking fun.

The abbreviation was popularised after the French rap group, Suprême NTM, originating from the Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs of Paris, used it in their name (if you're interested in the history of this group, their story is told in the Arte TV series Le Monde de Demain, now also available on Netflix with the English title Reign Supreme).  

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Some people might also use nique ta mère to add emphasis to a sentence, like when complaining about the heat. 

The verb niquer (to f*ck) is also frequently used during protests - as such it would not be uncommon to see a placard with the abbreviation NTM plus the name of a politician heading up an unpopular reform.

When spoken aloud, the insult is often shortened to be just ‘ta mère’, which foreigners should be aware of when innocently trying to reference someone’s mother.

As it is an abbreviation, you will mostly encounter NTM in written form rather than in conversation.

Use it like this

Je ne supporte plus ta présence ! NTM ! – I cannot handle being around you anymore! F*ck off!

NTM il fait trop chaud – F*ck me, it is hot out.

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