Real French Slang

Before we start let me tell you that te words you're about to read are not part of the regular French langage. Rather, those words are from the streets of France. Some might be considered as slang, other are just rudes. I'll try to give a correct explanation of them and the proper context in which they might be most appropriate.

Why this post on vocabulary ?

Cuz in most party I go I cannot but blame the fact that very few Foreign students know real slang. They're doing their best to fit in but they soon end up lost in the conversation because of some words or set up phrases they don't get. By learning some new useful words you might make both your life and others's life easier.

Note that a huge range if french slang is actually made of words used backwards. This way to distort ordinary words to make them sound more fashionnable ( and impossible to understand for those who to not belong to the slang community). It is known as "verlan"

I you have any comment or question feel free to leave a comment.

Here are the words of slang :

"ouf" : means something like "awesome". "ouf" actually is the word "fou" (crazy) spelled backward. Pronounce it "hooph". To use it properly you should say sthg like " C'est ouf!" ( prononciation "say hooph"), meaning that's great/ that's huge/ that's awesome.
People you can use it with : almost anybody under 40 you feel confortable with.

"ça déchire" : translation would be "it rocks" but in a more casual way ( understood by teenagers, and people under 35). Prononciation. When you say this you wanna talk about something which basically breaks/overcome the common standard in the field you're talking about. The verb "déchirer" litteraly means to tear up.

"c'est de la balle!" : caution : a little old fashioned. If used on purpose it could produce a nice effect, showing people how much you know about French slang. Litteral translation : "This is a ball".

"ça envoie du pâté." : This one really deserves special attention. Litteraly it means "This throws paté". It might not be the most heard of all slang phrases, making it one for the happy fews. For it is quite nice, it is spreading fast among students and teenagers.
Who to use it with : Some of your close friends you guess are lucky enough to benefit from your awesome knowledge.

"Je m'en tape" : Out of fashion, has being lasting for years and is still used today. Anybody understands it and it is rude. It could be translated in some contexts to "I don't give a f...".
So watch your surroudings when you use it.

Learn real French and piss others off.

"Baltringue" : Could clearly be an insult. It means weak/coward/pussy but couyld be used with a friend. Could be used as a soft one if said in a nice voice ( this is how I use it).

"Arrête de te la péter" : "stop bragging about". This short sentence is just one example of how you could use it but the expression is it's neutral form is " se la péter" (reflective form). So that you do not have to bother yourself with grammar rules, let me give you many uses possible of this expression: "Il se la pète" : He is bragging about. Another possible form is the indirect one (nice) : "ça se la pète" : By saying "ça" you do not refer directly to the person you're talking about. You put the subject in a distance and therefore express scorn.
If you don't want to make any mistake when using it just say this one last form "ça se la pète." and it would fit just fine.

Can you use it with your friends ? Yes absolutly. This is more cute than rude. Still make sure you use it with friends and not only people you know.

"C'est de la bombe." A classic one but a little old fashioned. When to use it : express hugeness : that's awesome is a possible translation of this phrase. Translation word by word :"That's (a) bomb." Cute one.

Want some more words ? Drop me a line and ask


3 Response to "Real French Slang"

  1. Atrix Says:

    Wow, there are some good phrases here!
    You're right, we foreigns hardly know real french slang, many of us don't know French slang at all *shy giggles* This is mostly because people who know don't care of sharing this with other people :(
    In my case it happened that everytime I looked for info about french expressions and slangs, all I cound find was people saying stuff that wasn't true to mock French (why I knew they were mocking? cos I investigated more) or only articles of people (making fun also) of how to say swear words or insult people in french, which I really don't find sense to know ! So I was like "oh my no, I don't want to learn swear words, I just would like to know common slang"
    So I thank you for caring about sharing a bit of french slang! :D Even if there's a couple or words that sounds rude, I'm glad cos this is the very frist article I find that wasn't made specifically about learning bad words or insults, and I think the cute phrases worth the effort to come here and read the "bad ones" by accident :)

  2. Sas Says:

    Desole, mais je ne peux pas lire les mots because of the text colours.

  3. BriBrittBrittany Says:

    Hello :) how would you say "red hair don't care"? In English it's meant To be cute and feminine, as if 'I have red hair and I just don't care' (not to be directed at not caring about having red hair tho) thank you :)

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