Culture

The Ultimate List of 231 French Slang Terms

French slang words you should know

Slang is one of the most important things to learn when you’re learning a new language, especially if you want to sound like a local. While textbooks and high school French lessons are great, it’s usually not until you find yourself in a restaurant or bar, or hanging out with young people in an actual French-speaking country that you start to learn how French people actually speak to one another.  

You’ll start hearing words like genre, a filler word that is used in a similar way to how English speakers use “like,” or oué, a more casual way to say oui that is something like “yeah.” You’ll hear popular words like bagnole or caisse which both mean “car,” or la flemme, which is essentially laziness. The tough part about slang is that it is always changing, whether it’s changing from year to year, or city to city. 

So, we decided to sit down with our friend Thomas, a 24-year-old native French speaker from Normandy, and ask him what slang words he really uses in his vocabulary. We found a huge French wiki article with hundreds of French slang terms, and we went through every word until we compiled a list of 231 slang words that Thomas, and other French people, actually use. 

In this list you’ll find examples of verlan, a type of slang that switches the first and last syllables in a word. For example relou (re-lou) is one of the most common examples of verlan. It is the word lourd (lou-re-d), which means “heavy,” with its syllables reversed. When someone is relou, they’re annoying or unbearable. Lourd can still mean “unbearable” in it’s normal form, but saying relou instead of lourd changes the meaning to be both “unbearable” and “annoying.”

Before you dive in, just remember that French is a language that is spoken by over 80 million people in 29 countries around the world so no slang list can ever be perfect. Think of the words “hella” and “wicked” in English. They can both replace the word “very,” but they’re not usually used by the same people. The same goes with French. They have the words “archi” and “grave” that can both replace the word “very,” but their uses will change depending on where you are and the people you’re with.

  1. aller-retour (masculine) : a round of slaps on the face
  2. s’arracher : to leave (partir)
  3. à l’arrache : used to describe something that is poorly organized or that was done quickly or at the last minute 
  4. assurer : to be competent in your domain 
  5. bachoter : to work towards an exam, particularly the baccalauréat or the bac, the exam that French high schoolers take at the end of their senior year 
  6. bachotage (masculine) : a form of preparation for an exam where you try to find tricks to learning things rather than studying smartly and properly 
  7. baffe (feminine) : a slap (gifle)
  8. bagnole (feminine) : a car (voiture)
  9. bahut (masculine) : middle school or high school (collège or lycée)
  10. balais : a year (an, année)
  11. balaise : adjective used to describe someone who is strong or hefty (costaud)
  12. balance (feminine) : someone in your group who shares your secrets 
  13. balancer : to denounce or report someone
  14. baltringue (feminine) : someone who is a coward and who doesn’t hesitate to run away where there are problems 
  15. baraque (feminine) : a house (maison)
  16. barjo, barge : crazy (fou)
  17. barrer (se) : to leave (partir)
  18. baston (feminine) : a fight (bagarre)
  19. beauf (masculine) : this word comes from beau-frère, which means brother-in-law, and means something similar to a redneck or a hick and isn’t something you want to say to someone you don’t want to offend
  20. becqueter, becter : to eat (manger)
  21. bidasse (masculine) : a soldier (soldat)
  22. bide (masculine) : stomach (ventre
  23. bidoche (feminine) : meat (viande)
  24. biffeton (masculine) : paper money (billet de banque)
  25. binouze (feminine) : beer (bière)
  26. blaireau (masculine) : someone who thinks they’re cool, but isn’t 
  27. bled (masculine) : the countryside or a place that’s isolated or lost in the middle of nowhere
  28. blé (masculine) : money (argent)
  29. bleu (masculine) : a novice or an amateur (novice)
  30. boîte (feminine) : a company (entreprise)
  31. bol (masculine) : to be lucky used with the word “avoir” (e.g. avoir du bol
  32. bombe, bombasse (feminine) : a pretty girl 
  33. bordel (masculine) : a mess (but be careful with this one because it can also mean a whorehouse)
  34. bosser : to work (travailler)
  35. bouffer : to eat (manger)
  36. avoir les boules : to be jealous or bothered by something 
  37. boulot (masculine) : work (travail)
  38. bourrer (être bourré ou se bourrer) : to be drunk (être ivre)
  39. bourre (feminine) (dans « être à la bourre ») : to be late (être en retard)
  40. bousiller : to break or kill (casser, tuer)
  41. braquer : to steal as a part of an armed robbery 
  42. buter : to kill (tuer)
  43. cabot (masculine) : dog (chien)
  44. cadavre (masculine) : an empty bottle 
  45. cafard (masculine) : melancholy 
  46. caisse (feminine) : car (or more rarely, fart)
  47. cailler : to be cold (avoir froid)
  48. calculer : to predict the reaction of someone 
  49. calendos (masculine) : another word for the cheese camembert
  50. camelote (feminine) : an adjective to describe something that isn’t quality work
  51. caoua (masculine) : coffee (café) (sometimes written kawa)
  52. canner : to die (mourir)
  53. canon : pretty
  54. capter : to understand (comprendre)
  55. cartonner : this can either mean to be successful or to have an accident
  56. casse-couilles, casse-pieds (masculine) : someone annoying (casse-pieds is nicer than casse-couilles because couilles means “testicules”) 
  57. se casser : to leave (partir)
  58. casser la croûte : to eat (manger)
  59. chicots (plural feminine) : teeth (dents)
  60. chelou : questionable, weird (verlan of “louche” which means shady or fishy) 
  61. cheum : ugly (verlan of moche, which also means ugly)
  62. chialer : to cry (pleurer)
  63. chiant : annoying (embêtant)
  64. chier : to poop
  65. chieur (masculine) : someone annoying
  66. chiottes (plural feminine) : the bathroom
  67. chtarbé : crazy (fou)
  68. clacos (or claquos) : another word for the cheese camembert
  69. clamecer, clamser, clapser : to die (mourir)
  70. claque (feminine) : a slap (gifle)
  71. claqué : tired (fatigué)
  72. clébard (clebs) masculine : dog (chien)
  73. clope (feminine) : cigarette
  74. coltiner (se) : to carry (porter)
  75. con (masculine) : an idiot
  76. connerie (feminine) : foolishness (bêtise)
  77. costard (masculine) : a suit (costume)
  78. crade, crado, cracra, cradingue : dirty (sale)
  79. crâner : to brag (se vanter)
  80. crever : to die (mourir)
  81. dalle (avoir la) : to be hungry (avoir faim)
  82. daube (feminine) : something without value or of poor quality 
  83. dèche (c’est la) : a really problematic situation
  84. déchiré : drunk or high
  85. déconner : to joke around
  86. défoncé, def : drunk or high 
  87. dégager : to leave (partir)
  88. dégommer : to kill (tuer)
  89. dégueulasse : dirty (sale)
  90. dégueuler : to throw up (vomir)
  91. désaper : to undress (déshabiller)
  92. dingue, dingo : crazy (fou)
  93. dodo (faire) : to sleep (dormir)
  94. douce (en) : in secret (en cachette)
  95. draguer : to seduce/flirt (séduire)
  96. écraser (s’) : to shut up (se taire)
  97. emmerder : to annoy/bother (considered rude)
  98. enfoiré/enculé : someone who is dishonest or not a good person (be a little more careful with enculé because it comes from the verb enculer which means to sodomize) 
  99. esquiver (s’) : to leave discreetly 
  100. fauché (masculine) : a poor person (pauvre)
  101. la fermer : to shut up (se taire)
  102. fiasco (masculine) : a failure (échec)
  103. fissa (faire) : to do something quickly
  104. flemme (feminine) : laziness (see a better explanation here)
  105. flic (masculine) : police officer (policier)
  106. flingue (masculine) : gun (arme à feu)
  107. flinguer : hurt or kill someone with a gun 
  108. flipper : to worry (angoisser)
  109. flop (masculine) : a failure (échec)
  110. foirer : to fail (échouer)
  111. fourguer, refourguer : to get rid of something at a low price or by giving it away 
  112. foutre : a ruder replacement for “faire
  113. foutu (quelque chose) : broken
  114. frangin : brother (frère)
  115. frangine : sister (sœur)
  116. fric (masculine) : money (argent)
  117. frimer : to brag (se vanter)
  118. fringues (plural feminine) : clothes (vêtements)
  119. se fringuer : to get dressed (s’habiller)
  120. froc (masculine) : pants (pantalon)
  121. fromton (masculine) : cheese (fromage)
  122. fumer : to kill (tuer)
  123. futal, fut (masculine) : pants (pantalon)
  124. galère (feminine) : a difficult or complicated situation 
  125. gamberger : to reflect (réfléchir)
  126. gars (pronounced “ga”) : a man (homme)
  127. gauler : to catch someone 
  128. gelé, givré : crazy (fou)
  129. genre: a filler word similar to like
  130. gerber : throw up (vomir)
  131. glander : to not do anything, to laze about 
  132. godasse (feminine) : shoe (chaussure)
  133. se goinfrer : to eat a lot and messily 
  134. gonzesse (feminine) : a girl (fille)
  135. gosse : a child (enfant)
  136. grave : mentally disturbed 
  137. grave : a lot/very (e.g. j’ai grave faim)
  138. grailler : to eat (manger)
  139. grillé : caught (attrapé) (also gaulé)
  140. grouiller (se) : to hurry (se dépêcher)
  141. gueule (feminine) : mouth or head 
  142. gueuler : to shout
  143. intox (feminine) : fake news 
  144. jacter : to talk (parler)
  145. keuf (masculine) : police officer (policier) (verlan for “flic”)
  146. keum (masculine) : man (verlan for “mec”)
  147. kiffer : to appreciate or like 
  148. laisse tomber : to stop or abandon 
  149. larguer : to abandon or leave (often used when talking about a break-up) 
  150. louper  : to fail (échouer)
  151. loupiotte (feminine) : lamp (lampe)
  152. lourd (masculine) : someone who is unable to be subtle or who gets on your nerves 
  153. lover (masculine) : an emotional man 
  154. manger (se) : to take or receive (il s’est mangé une baffe = he took a hit)
  155. marrant : funny/fun (amusant)
  156. mater : to look at or draw up someone 
  157. matos (masculine) : equipment (matériel)
  158. mec (masculine) : a man
  159. médoc (masculine) : medicine (médicament)
  160. merde (feminine) : shit
  161. merder : to fail (échouer)
  162. moche : ugly (laid)
  163. mortel : excellent
  164. nabot (masculine) : a small or skinny man
  165. nana (feminine) : a woman (femme)
  166. naze (masculine) : lame/useless (nul)
  167. nickel : perfect 
  168. oué : yeah
  169. ouf : crazy (verlan for “fou”) 
  170. papelard (masculine) : paper (papier)
  171. Paname : Paris
  172. patate (feminine) : a punch or to be healthy/fit 
  173. paumer : to lose (perdre)
  174. pêche (avoir la) : to be in good health 
  175. peler (se) : to be cold (avoir froid)
  176. pelle (rouler une) : a French kiss (kissing with tongue)
  177. pénard : in peace 
  178. pépin (masculine) : a problem or worry
  179. pige (feminine) : year (année) (this is often used to talk about age)
  180. piger : to understand (comprendre)
  181. pinard (masculine) : wine (vin)
  182. piquer : to steal (voler)
  183. pisser : to pee (uriner)
  184. plaquer : to abandon (abandonner)
  185. planter (se) : to screw up (se tromper)
  186. pognon (masculine) : money (argent)
  187. poil (à) : naked (nu)
  188. poireauter : to wait (attendre)
  189. poisse (feminine) : unlucky (malchance) (usually used with “avoir”) 
  190. pompe (feminine) : shoe (chaussure)
  191. pote (masculine) : friend (copain)
  192. poucave (feminine) : someone who tells other people your secrets 
  193. poulet (masculine) : police officer (policier)
  194. PQ, papier-cul (masculine) : toilet paper (papier toilette)
  195. prof : teacher (professeur)
  196. prune (feminine) : a traffic ticket (contravention)
  197. que dalle : nothing (rien)
  198. racaille (feminine) : a hooligan 
  199. rancard (masculine) : a date (rendez-vous)
  200. rappliquer : to come/to arrive
  201. raquer : to spend money
  202. réglo : honest/loyal
  203. relou : unsubtle (verlan for “lourd”)
  204. rigolo : funny
  205. ringard : old fashioned
  206. rouge : wine (vin)
  207. roupiller : to sleep (dormir)
  208. sape (feminine) : clothes (vêtement)
  209. se saper : to get dressed (s’habiller)
  210. serrer : to catch (attraper)
  211. seum : a feeling of disgust or embarrassment
  212. soutif (masculine) : a bra (soutien-gorge)
  213. speed (masculine) : to have a lot of energy 
  214. squatter  : to stay somewhere or to go to someone’s house 
  215. super : awesome
  216. sympa : nice (shortened version of sympathique
  217. tabasser : to fight (battre)
  218. taf (masculine) : work (initials of “Travail À Faire,” or work to do)
  219. taffer : to work (travailler) 
  220. taulard (masculine) : detained (détenu)
  221. taule (feminine) : prison
  222. taulier (masculine) : boss (patron)
  223. taupe (feminine) : someone who infiltrates into a group to get information (a mole)  
  224. thune (feminine) : money (argent)
  225. toubib (masculine) : doctor (médecin)
  226. type (masculine) : a man (homme)
  227. vanne (feminine) : a joke that’s often made about another person 
  228. vénère : to be angry or annoyed (verlan for “énerver”)
  229. vieux : parents
  230. wesh : filler word used when greeting someone, or asking someone a question
  231. zbool : a racket, a noise that is disturbing the peace

À plus tard, mes potes !

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