French Word of the Day: Débrouillard

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French Word of the Day: Débrouillard
French Word of the Day: Débrouillard

A smart word for quick-thinking people.


Why do I need to know débrouillard (e)?

This handy adjective can be used to describe someone with impressive street smarts.

What does it mean?

Débrouillard - roughly pronounced deh-broo-yar / deh-broo-yard – describes someone who is resourceful and clever, and able to find ingenious, independent solutions to complex or difficult situations. 

If you hear it used to describe you, then you have every right to feel just a little bit smug.

It comes from the verb débrouiller, which means to untangle, and create order out of chaos.


That in itself is the opposite of brouiller which means to scramble, tangle or to blur - commonly seen in œufs brouillés (scrambled eggs, sometimes amusingly mistranslated into English as 'blurred eggs').

Use it like this

Je suis débrouillard, moi, quand il faut – I’m resourceful when I need to be

Ce garçon est très débrouillard : il saura se tirer d’affaire – This boy is very resourceful: he'll be able to get himself out of trouble



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