French Word of the Day: Fiston

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

This French word is an endearing way to speak of a family member.


Why do I need to know fiston?

Because if you spend time with parents in France, then you will hear this word. 

What does it mean?

Fiston roughly pronounced fees-ton is a colloquial French term to refer to a young boy, usually by the father. 

It comes from the French word ‘fils’ (son) and it is similar to the English terms ‘junior’, ‘sonny’ or ‘my boy’. It's most commonly used by a father to refer to their actual son, but it can also be an affectionate way to refer to a male younger than you - like sonny in English.

The term is used endearingly, and it has actually been around for centuries. For example, 19th century French author Émile Zola used the term in his book L'Assommoir.

If you spend time with French adolescents and children, you might hear them use this term when referring to other children that are younger than them. 

While technically the term technically comes from the word for boy, it can also be used for girls. This usage is less common, and in written form it would be fistonne.


France has several other colloquial terms for referring to boy children, such as gosse or gamin.

Use it like this

Je suis fier de mon fiston et de ses excellents résultats scolaires cette année. – I am proud of my son and his great grades this school year.

Ton fiston tient vraiment de toi, il a les mêmes manières. – Your boy really takes after you, he has the same mannerisms.


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