French Expression of the Day: T’as dead ça

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
French Expression of the Day: T’as dead ça
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

This French expression does not actually have to do with death or the afterlife.


Why do I need to know t’as dead ça?

Because this anglicism really doesn’t make sense to native English speakers. 

What does it mean?

T’as dead ça - roughly pronounced tah dead sah - combines the French verb avoir (to have) with the English word ‘dead’. 

As a result, you might presume this means ‘to die’ or ‘to be killed’ in French, but the slang expression has a very different meaning. It refers to ‘killing it’ in the positive sense. If you tell someone t’as dead ça it’s a congratulation, like ‘great job, you killed it!’


The colloquial phrase is relatively new and primarily used by young people in highly informal settings. It has increased in popularity after having been sung by French pop singer Aya Nakamura who sings the lyrics baby, tu dead ça in her hit song Djadja.

If you’re looking for a synonym without tossing in random English words you could say tu as déchiré, which is also the rough equivalent of ‘you killed it’. 

For a more formal option, a simple c’était très bien will do. 

You might also hear the English word ‘dead’ in other French slang expressions, like c’est dead, which is a synonym of c’est mort

This one makes a bit more sense - it means that something has become impossible. For example, if tickets sold out to a concert you wanted to go to, your friend might say désolé, mais c’est dead (sorry but it’s not happening).

Use it like this

Ton discours était excellent, vraiment t’as dead ça. - Your speech was incredible, seriously you killed it.

Je me sentais très bien au concours. Honnêtement j’ai dead ça. - I felt really good during the competition. Honestly I killed it.


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