Informal French & Slang Tutorial
    

This page is designed to teach the real spoken form of French, which is very different from the formal way of writing, as well as common French slang words. Sentences marked with were taken from a random search online to give you authentic examples of slang usage. When you click they will open in a new window. Click here to skip to the list of all the exercises. More mp3s to come soon!


 

 

I'm working on a video series that explains informal and spoken French.


Informal Ways of Speaking Listen to MP3

Similar to the reduced forms in English (wanna, gonna, doncha, etc.), there are several informal ways of speaking in French. You will hear these forms very often, but you do not have to speak this way if you don't want to. However, you must be able to understand reduced forms in order to understand real spoken French. You may see these forms in informal written French (such as on blogs or in chat rooms), but you should still write the formal way.

  1. Tu + verb beginning with a vowel
  2. The most common contractions with tu are t'as and t'es, which replace tu as and tu es. You can also contract tu + other verbs that begin with a vowel, such as t'aimes or t'ouvres, which replace tu aimes and tu ouvres.

    T'as fini de manger ? Have you finished eating?
    T'es fatigué ou quoi ? Are you tired or what?
    T'as beau essayer, t'y arrives pas. No matter how much you try, you won't succeed.
    T'as rien compris ! Laisse-moi t'expliquer. You didn't understand! Let me explain it to you.

  3. Unstressed e
  4. The letter e is often dropped between two consonants (e caduc) if it is unstressed, such as in samedi, and also at the end of short words, such as ce, de, je, le, me, que, se, te. It's also common in future and conditional tenses of verbs: donnerai = donn'rai; aimerais = aim'rais

    Il s'lève de bonne heure. He gets up early.
    C'est c'que je veux. That's what I want.
    Faut que j'parte maintenant. I have to leave now.
    Avec ce travail, je ne manqu'rai pas d'argent. With this job, I won't lack money.

  5. Reduced forms: il(s), elle(s), puis, parce que, quelque
  6. The pronouns il and ils reduce to y, while elle and elles reduce to è when followed by a consonant. When followed by a vowel, il and elle reduce to l' whereas ils becomes y z' or just z' and elles becomes è'z'. The word puis is more commonly pronounced pis, parce que is pronounced pasque, and quelque is pronounced quèque.

    Y pense qu'elle l'aime, mais c'est pas le cas. He thinks that she loves him, but that's not the case.
    On va aller au restaurant, et pis après on se fera un ciné. We'll go to the restaurant, and then after we'll go to the movies.
    Pourquoi tu dois m'obéir ? Pasque je suis ton père ! Why must you obey me? Because I'm your father!
    Y a quèque chose la-dessous ! Regarde voir ! There's something down there! Look!

  7. Use on instead of nous
  8. The pronoun on is used much more often to mean we than nous. It always take the third person singular form of the verb even though it's always plural in English.

    On peut y aller ? Tout le monde est là ? Can we go ? Is everybody here ?
    C'est pasqu'on est frères que je te fais confiance. It's because we are brothers that I trust you.
    Pourrait-on accélérer ? On va pas assez vite ! Could we speed it up? We're not going fast enough!

  9. Drop ne in negatives
  10. Although the ne in negatives should always be written, it is very rarely used in informal speech.

    Ça va pas ! C'est nul ! That doesn't work! That's stupid!
    Si tu veux pas voir ce film, lequel veux-tu voir ? If you don't want to see this movie, which one do you want to see?
    Je peux pas m'acheter cette voiture. C'est pas possible. I can't buy myself this car. It's not possible.

  11. Drop -re at end of words
  12. You usually do not pronounce -re at the end of a word, whether it's a verb (mettre) or adjective (notre).

    Allez, à bientôt ! A un de ces quat' ! See you soon one of these days!
    C'est pas vot' problème, c'est not' problème. It's not your problem, it's our problem.
    Y faut pas êt' si bête. You shouldn't be so stupid.

  13. Word order in questions
  14. Word order in questions is less difficult to master in informal spoken French. Inversion and est-ce que are generally not used, and word order is simply subject - verb - question word OR question word - subject - verb.

    Tu fais quoi ? What are you doing?
    On va où ? Where are we going?
    Il parle de quoi ? What's he talking about?

    Pourquoi t'as dit ça ? Why did you say that?
    Quand elle va arriver ? When is she going to arrive?
    Quelle heure il est ? What time is it?

    In addition, ça frequently follows an interrogative to add emphasis, such as in qui ça ? or c'est quoi, ça ?

  15. Forget grammatical rules
  16. Sometimes you can forget the grammar rules that you have learned when speaking informally. An example of this is using à to show possession (in grammatically correct French, you should use de).

    On est dans la chambre à Cyril. We are in Cyril's room.

    Another example is using (r)amener to mean to bring things (back) to some place. In grammatically correct French, you should only use (r)amener with people, and (r)apporter with things.

    J'ai ramené les livres à la médiathèque. I brought the books back to the library.


Fillers in Speech Listen to MP3

Fillers in speech are words that don't add any real meaning to the sentence, except for maybe emphasis. Examples in English include uh, um, well, I mean, I guess, you know?, so, ok, etc. You should get used to just ignoring these words when you hear them, so that you can focus on the key words in the sentence.

  1. Quoi is the most common filler that I hear in everyday speech. It can be used to add emphasis to emotions or thoughts or to show impatience. It is usually said at the very end of the sentence.
  2. Voilà is often used with quoi at the end of the sentence.
  3. A la limite is mostly used by young people, and can be translated as I suppose or I mean.
  4. Tu vois ? is the closest approximation for you know?
  5. Bon begins or ends a thought, similar to ok. It also can express anger or impatience, similar to fine! (Ah, bon ? actually means "really?" and not "good.")
  6. Ben (pronounced liked bain) adds emphasis to questions, statements, commands and yes or no.
  7. Bon ben is used to wrap up a thought or conversation. Translated as ok or well.
  8. Donc emphasizes a question or command.
  9. Alors emphasizes an interjection and yes or no.
  10. Moi is commonly added to commands involving the senses. The closest translation in English is "just." Regarde-moi-ça ! Just look at that!
  11. Eh bien means well... at the beginning of a sentence or thought.[not recorded yet]
  12. Hein ? is similar to eh? at the end of a sentence.
  13. Euh... is the filler equivalent to uh or um when you're thinking of what to say next.
  14. Voyons... is similar to let's see.

Interjections Listen to MP3

Aïe ! / Ouïe ! / Ouille ! Ouch !
Beurk ! Berk ! Yuck!
Boum ! Boom! Bang!
Chiche ! I dare you! Go ahead!
Chut ! Shush! Be quiet!
Gla gla! Brrrrrrr!
Ho ! / Hé ! Wow! or Hey!
Holà ! Hey! Whoa!
Hop là ! Got it! There ya go! Whoopsie-daisy!
Merde ! Shit! [not as strong as in English] / Break a leg!
Miam miam ! Yum yum!
Mince ! / Zut ! Darn! Dang it!
Ouf ! Phew!
Oups ! Oops!
Pan ! Bang!
Putain ! [the general all-purpose swear word in French]
Toc, toc ! Knock knock!
Vlan ! Slam!
Youpi ! Yay!


Recognizing French Slang Words

Several suffixes are commonly used to form slang words from regular words. This may help you determine the meaning of the slang word, which you probably cannot find in a dictionary, by identifying the root word, which you can find in a dictionary. For example, folle is a regular adjective meaning crazy. Follasse is the slang word derived from the adjective that means crazy woman.

- aille (r) - ard - arès - asse - ace - oche
- os - osse - ouille - ouse - ouze - uche

Common Expressions Listen to MP3

Je n'en reviens pas - I can't believe it
C'est du gâteau ! - It's a piece of cake!
Revenons à nos moutons - Let's get back to the subject
Ça saute aux yeux - That's obvious
C'est dans la poche - It's a sure thing
Quand les poules auront des dents - When pigs fly
Ça ne tourne pas rond - Something's wrong
C'est pas vrai ! - You're kidding!
Ce n'est pas la mer à boire - It's not the end of the world
C'est pas sorcier - It's not rocket science
Je vais jeter un œil - I'll take a look
Ça n'a rien à voir avec... - That has nothing to do with...
Ça vaut le coup - It's worth it
On voit que dalle - You can't see anything
Ça va être chaud ! It's going to be tough!
Tu dois me tirer de là ! - You gotta help me out!
Ç'est parti ! Here we go / we're off !
Ça gaze ? How are things? What's up?
Oh purée ! Oh my goodness!
Ça fait un bail ! It's been a long time !
Ça craint ! / C'est nul ! - That sucks!
Fais voir - Show me / Let me see
Je suis prems ! - I'm first!
Rien que d’en parler... - Just talking about it...

 

If you can't remember the name of a thing, you can use ce truc, ce machin, ce bidule or cet engin similarly to the English thingy, thingamajig, whatchamacallit, etc.

What's-his-name is Monsieur Untel and what's-her-name is Madame Unetelle. You can also use Machin but it has a more derogative meaning, as if you are saying the person is merely an object.


Common Verbs Listen to MP3

balancer - to throw (away)
en baver
- to have a hard time
bosser
- to work
bouffer
- to eat
bourrer -
to stuff, cram
bousiller
- to break, damage
chialer - to cry
chopper - to get, to catch
débarquer - to arrive without notice
dégoter - to find, come up with, dig up
encarrer - to enter
engueuler - to tell someone off / chew someone out / give someone hell
épater / scier - to astonish, surprise
être à deux doigts (de faire quelque chose) - to be on the verge (of doing something)
être à la bourre - to be in a hurry
être à mourir d'ennui - to be very boring
faire gaffe - be careful, pay attention
farfouiller - to rummage
filer - to give, hand over
filer à l'anglaise - to leave without saying goodbye / to take a French leave
flipper - to go crazy, flip out
fourrer - to cram, stick, shove
foutre - to put, throw / to give / to do
foutre le bordel - to make a mess
gaver - to be sick of
gerber - to puke
gober - to believe naively / to fall for
gonfler - to annoy
louper - to miss
mater / zieuter - to look
papoter - to chatter, gossip
paumer - to lose
piger - to understand
piquer - to steal
planquer - to hide
poireauter - to wait
repêcher - to find
rigoler / se marrer - to laugh
roupiller - to sleep
schlinguer - to stink
se planter - to make a mistake
se pointer / radiner - to show up
se tirer / se barrer / se casser - to leave
vadrouiller - to rove around


The verb foutre Listen to MP3

This slang verb has several meanings in French: to put, to give, to do, etc. It is conjugated thus: fous - fous - fout - foutons - foutez - foutent. The pronominal verb s'en foutre means to not care, while the adjective foutu(e) usually means screwed/screwed up. Fiche is a milder verb that is very common too. It is conjugated: fiche - fiches - fiche - fichons - fichez - fichent and the past participle is fichu(e).

Je m'en fous / Je m'en fiche. I don't care.

Qu'est-ce qu'il fout là-bas ? What's he doing over there? / What the hell is he doing over there??

J'en ai rien à foutre. I don't care. [stronger] / I don't give a damn.

Je m'en fous de tes problèmes. I don't care about your problems.
Tu t'en fous de ce que les autres pensent. You don't care about what others think.
On s'en fout de foot ! We don't care about soccer!
Ils s'en foutent des jeunes. They don't care about young people.

Fous-moi la paix ! Leave me alone! / Give me a break!
Fous le camp ! F you!
Va te faire foutre ! Go to hell!

The adjective foutu does not always have a negative connotation, however:
un mec bien foutu a well-built/muscular guy


Common Adjectives Listen to MP3

bidon - phoney, fake
chapeau - bravo, hats off!
chelou - shady, suspicious
chiant - annoying
collant - clingy
cradingue / crado - filthy
débile - pathetic, stupid
dégueulasse - disgusting
déjanté - oddball
dingue / cinglé / timbré / givré / barjo / loufoque - crazy
farfelu - eccentric
futé - cunning, crafty, sly
génial / chouette - great
godiche - silly, awkward
gratos- free
impec - great, terrific
kif-kif - same difference; it's the same
mal barré / mal foutu - "in dire straits" / screwed
marrant / rigolo - funny
moche - ugly
nickel - very clean
nunuche - silly, stupid
pas terrible - not good
radin - cheap
roublard - devious, cunning
salé - expensive
sympa - nice, likable
vache - mean
zinzin - nuts


Common Intensifiers / Adverbs Listen to MP3

carrément - completely
rudement - very, terribly
pas mal de / un paquet de - a lot of
super / mega / hyper - very, ultra
vachement - very, really
foutrement - extremely

Oh la vache ! - Oh wow!

espèce de + adjectif - stupid + adjective
adjectif + de chez + adjectif - really, completely + adjective
→ Ce livre est nul de chez nul. This book majorly sucks.
nom + de malheur - darned + noun
nom + d'enfer - really good + noun


Verlan Listen to MP3

Verlan is a popular form of slang that involves reversing the syllables in regular words.

mère - reum
père - reup
femme - meuf
mec - keum
fête - teuf
flic - keuf
louche - chelou
cher - reuch
énervé - vénère
boudin - doubin
capote - poteca
toi - ouat
moi - ouam


Health & Body Listen to MP3

babines (f) - lips
barbouze (f) - beard
bide / bidon (m) - belly
→ Mon chat a un bide énorme ! My cat has a huge belly!
caillou / ciboulot (m) - head
carcasse (f) - body
couille / roubignole (f) - testicle
esgourdes (f) - ears
gueule (f) / bec (m) - mouth
Ferme ta gueule ! Shut up!
jambons / gigots (m) - thighs
mirettes (f) - eyes
nichons (m) - breasts
palpitant / battant (m) - heart
paluche / pince (f) - hand
panard / ripaton (m) - foot
patte / gambette / guibole / quille (f) - leg
pif / blair (m) - nose
riquiqui (m) - pinkie finger
tifs (m) - hair
tignasse (f) - mop of hair
→ J’ai une tignasse frisée qui m’arrive en bas du dos. I have curly hair that goes all the way down my back.
tronche (f) - face, head

se casser la gueule - to break one's neck
passer sur le billard - to have an operation
avoir la pêche / la patate - to be on top of the world, to feel good
avoir mal au cœur - to feel nauseated / to feel like vomiting
gerber / dégueuler - to puke
crever / clamser - to die (figuratively), to "croak"
avoir mauvaise / bonne mine - to look bad / good
être maigre comme un clou - to be really skinny
attraper la crève - to catch a terrible cold
tomber dans les pommes / les vapes - to pass out
requinquer - to perk up
se débarbouiller - to wash your face
à l'article de la mort - at death's door
bien roulée - good body
mal fichu - sick
l'hosto [l'hôpital] - hospital


Emotions & Personality Listen to MP3

crevé / lessivé / nase / mort / cassé / vanné / HS [hors-service] - really tired, exhausted
avoir le cafard / le blues / le spleen - to be sad, depressed
être de mauvais poil - to be in a bad mood
en avoir marre / en avoir ras-le-bol / en avoir soupé - to be fed up, angry
→ J'en ai marre de ces pubs ! I'm so sick of these ads!
avoir les boules / les glandes / les nerfs / la haine - to be really angry
raffoler de quelque chose - to be crazy about something
être accro à quelque chose - to be addicted to something
avoir le mal du pays - to be homesick
se barber - to get bored
avoir la trouille / la frousse / le trac - to be scared
fiche la trouille / frousse à quelqu'un - to scare somebody
→ C'est la première fois qu'une BD me fiche la frousse. That's the first time a comic book scared me.
déconner - to joke / mess around
se planter - to make a mistake / to fall
péter les plombs / péter un cable - to go crazy
perdre la boule / les pédales - to lose one's mind

s'engueuler / bagarrer - to fight, yell
rififi (m) / bagarre (f) - fight
raclée / saucée / trempe (f) - scolding
filer une baffe / une claque / une beigne à quelqu'un - to slap someone
coller un pain / une mandale / une chataigne / un marron à quelqu'un - to punch someone
coquard (m) - black eye
furax - furious, angry
blairer quelqu'un - to not be able to stand someone
ne pas sentir quelqu'un -
to not like, not be able to stand someone
casser les pieds à quelqu'un / prendre la tête à quelqu'un
- to annoy someone
être casse-bonbons / casse-pieds / casse-couilles - to be a pain in the neck/ass
cafter quelqu'un - to tell on someone, to snitch
faire du pétard - to make a fuss
→ Il fait du pétard quand les choses ne vont pas comme il veut. He makes a fuss when things aren't how he wants them to be.
rouscailler - to complain
gonfler quelqu'un / emmerder quelqu'un - to get on someone's nerves, be a pain
faire chier quelqu'un - to really annoy someone, to piss someone off
→ Ça me fait chier de refaire une année, puis encore deux années en BTS. That pisses me off to repeat a grade, and then still have two more years of BTS.
monter sur ses grands chevaux - to get angry
se mettre en pétard - to get crabby, angry
se faire de la bile - to get all worked up
en faire toute une salade
- to make a big deal about it
taper sur les nerfs à quelqu'un - to get on someone's nerves
chambrer / taquiner quelqu'un - to tease, bother someone
Tu te fous de ma gueule ? - Are you kidding me? / Do you think I'm an idiot?
Tu me prends pour qui ? - Who do you think you're dealing with? / Do you think I'm stupid?
Lâche-moi les baskets ! - Give me a break! Leave me alone!
Ce sont pas tes oignons ! / T'occupe ! - Mind your own business!
Laisse béton ! - Nevermind! Forget it!
Ta gueule ! / La ferme ! - Shut up!

avoir la cosse / flemme - to be lazy
avoir un poil dans la main - to be really lazy
avoir la bougeotte - to be fidgety
flemmard / feignant - lazy
glander / glandouiller - to waste time, to bum around
→ Il glande tous les jours chez lui. He does nothing all day at home.
se pavaner - to strut about, show off
frimer - to show off
frimeur (m) - showoff
→ C'est un mec qui a l'air sympathique ; c'est pas un frimeur à ce que je sache ! He seems like a nice guy; he's not a showoff as far as I know!
lèche-bottes (f) - suckup, brown-noser
raté (m) - loser
débile / taré - stupid, idiotic
con (m) / conne (f) - idiot
→ "Casse-toi, pauvre con !" Get lost, stupid idiot! - quote from French president, Nicolas Sarkozy
quiche (f) - stupid person
bourrique (m/f) - a blockhead
avoir l'air vaseux - to seem dazed
bête noire (f) - pet peeve
galère (f) - problem, difficulty

donner un coup de main - to give someone a hand / to help someone
dépanner quelqu'un - to do someone a favor
retirer une épine du pied à quelqu'un - to do someone a big favor

pot (m) - luck / drink
bol (m) - luck
→ J'ai vachement de bol, j'ai pas de gosses et j'ai une voiture. I'm really lucky, I don't have kids and I have a car.
guigne / déveine / poisse (f) - bad luck
guignard(e)(m/f) - unlucky person
avoir de la veine - to be lucky
branché - with it, hip, cool
peinard / pénard - calm, tranquil
→ Cette année, c'est pénard, mais l'année prochaine, le bac ! This year is calm, but next year is the bac [final exam]!
zen - cool, calm, laid-back


School Listen to MP3

bahut (m) - school (also truck, taxi)
Mon bahut est en grève !
My school is on strike!
bizut (m) - freshman / pledge (to a fraternity/sorority)
bizutage (m) - hazing
bouquin (m) - book
bûcher / potasser - to study hard, to cram
calé en - good/smart in
cartonner à un examen - to ace an exam
chouchou (m) - teacher's pet
colle (f) - difficult question
coller un élève
- to punish a student / give a student detention
Mon fils est collé deux heures par son prof de math. My son got two hours of detention from his math teacher.
être collé - to have detention
fac (f) - university
piger - to understand, to get (it)
plancher - to be grilled/interrogated by a teacher
potache (m) - student
se faire étendre / coller à un examen - to flunk a test
sécher un cours - to skip class


Weather & Time Listen to MP3

cailler - to freeze
cramer - to burn
flotter - to rain
flotte (f) - water
froid de canard - really cold weather
temps de chien - lousy weather
tomber des cordes - to rain heavily, to pour
il pleut comme vache qui pisse - it's pouring / it's really coming down
saucée (f) - shower
se peler les miches - to freeze one's ass off
Je suis frileuse et je me pèle les miches été comme hiver. I'm always cold and I freeze my ass off in summer like in winter.

entre chien et loup - at dusk, sunset
il y a des lustres
- a long time ago
pige
(f) - year
un de ces quat' - one of these days


Talking & Chatting Listen to MP3

avoir de la tchatche - to talk a lot
avoir un mot sur le bout de la langue - to have a word on the tip of your tongue
baratin (m) - nonsense
baratiner - to sweet talk
bavarder / causer - to chat
→ Elle aime causer et tout le monde la connaît. She likes to chat and everyone knows her.
blaze (m) - name
casser les oreilles à quelqu'un - to talk someone's ear off
chanter comme une casserole - to sing really badly
charabia (m) - gibberish
charrier - to exaggerate
dégoiser - to talk a lot, rattle on
déjanter - to talk nonsense, to go crazy
donner un coup de fil - to call, telephone
et patati et patata - blah blah blah
jacter - to speak, chatter
parler une langue comme une vache espagnole - to speak a language really badly
passer du coq à l'âne - to quickly change the subject
quand on parle du loup - speak of the devil
ragots - rumors, gossip, the "dirt"
→ Si quelqu'un dit des ragots sur moi, alors je m'en fous. If someone spreads rumors about me, I don't care.
rouspéter - to complain, moan
tchatcher - to chat
tuyau (m) / astuce (f) - tip, piece of advice


Eating & Drinking Listen to MP3

avoir la dalle - to be starving
→ J'ai la dalle et je sais pas quoi faire à manger. I'm starving and I don't know what to make to eat.
avoir la gueule de bois - to have a hangover
avoir les crocs - to be very hungry
avoir un petit creux - to be a little hungry
arroser - to drink to celebrate something
barbaque / bidoche (f) - bad meat
Berk ! - Yuck!
blonde (f) - ale
boire un verre / un coup / un pot - to have a drink
bouffe / boustifaille (f) - food
bouffer - to eat
boui-boui (m) - dive, bad restaurant
bourré / pété / rond / saoul / défoncé / plein - drunk
ça fouette - that stinks (said of cheese)
casser la croûte - to have a snack
→ On a cassé la croûte avec une vue magnifique depuis le nord au sud du Mont-Blanc. We had a snack with a magnificent view from the north to south of Mont Blanc.
chaud - tipsy, buzzed
chopine (f) - bottle of wine
dégueulasse - disgusting
gavé - stuffed (ate too much)
se goinfrer / s'empiffrer / se taper - to pig out
gueuleton (m) - feast, huge spread of food
Miam ! - Yum!
péter - to fart (also: to burst, blow up, snap)
picole (f) - alcohol, booze
picoler - to drink alcohol
picoleur, picoleuse - drinker
pinard (m) - cheap wine
pochtron / poivrot (m) - drunkard
prendre une cuite - to get wasted/plastered
pression (f) - draft beer
régaler - to treat, pay
repu - full (of food)
roter - to burp
tituber - to stumble (drunkenly)
→ Il titubait et hurlait dans les couloirs, complètement bourré. He was stumbling and yelling in the hall, completely drunk.
tournée (f) - round of drinks
trinquer - to toast, to drink to [this can also mean to be devastated, to suffer: Dans un divorce, ce sont toujours les enfants qui trinquent. In a divorce, it's always the children who suffer.]


People & Animals Listen to MP3

beauf (m) - brother-in-law / lower-class Frenchman
belle-doche (f) - mother-in-law
canaille (f) - rascal, scoundrel
copain / copine (m/f) - friend, pal
fiston (m) - son
frangin (m) - brother
frangine (f) - sister
gamin/e (m/f) - kid, brat
gars (m) - boy
gosse (m/f) - kid [be careful: this means testicles in Quebecois French!]
loulou / loulotte - boyfriend / girlfriend
mec / keum / type (m) - guy
meuf [Verlan for femme] - wife
môme (m/f) - kid, brat
moutards / lardons / marmots / morveux (m) - kids
nana / gonzesse (f) - girl, chick
pote (m) - buddy, mate
racaille (f) - scum
reum [Verlan for mère] - mother
reup [Verlan for père] - father
ricain(e) - American
vieux (m) - parents
voyou / gouape - punk, hooligan

clébard (m) - mutt, hound
piaf (m) - bird


Places & Transportation Listen to MP3

piaule / crèche (f) - bedroom
pieu / plumard / pageot (m) - bed
crècher - to crash, to live
pioncer / roupiller - to sleep
truc / machin (m) - a thing, thingamajig
bordel (m) / bazar (m) / galère (f) - mess
C'est quoi ce bordel ? What is all this mess?
bagnole / caisse (f) - car
baraque (f) - shed, stand, house
bled perdu (m) - nowheresville, in the boonies
→ Je viens du fin fond de la Bretagne dans un bled perdu où il n'y a rien à faire. I come from the boonies at the far end of Brittany, where there's nothing to do.
coin (m) - place in general

se taper 10 bornes à pied - to walk 10 kilometers
borne (f) - kilometer


Work & Money Listen to MP3

arnaquer - to rip off, cheat
arnaqueur (m) - con artist
balle (f) - franc (many French people still think in francs instead of euros)
BCBG [bon chic bon genre] - posh, stylish, preppy
bo-bo [Bourgeois Bohême] - person with good job and Bohemian lifestyle
boîte (f) - company
bosser / taffer - to work
boulot (m) - work, job
bourge (n) - bourgeois, middle class
claquer - to blow money
clodo / clochard (m) - bum, homeless person
douloureuse (f) - bill (that you know is going to be high)
être plein aux as - to have a lot of money
fric / pognon / blé / des sous / pèze / l'oseille (m) - money
fauché / à sec / raide / dans la dèche - broke
faux jeton (m) - two-sided, hypocritical (politician)
flic / keuf / poulet (m) - cop
grippe-sou (f) - penny pincher
gyneco [gynécologue] - gynecologist
kiné [kinésithérapeute] - physiotherapist
mettre au clou - to hock, pawn
prolo (m) - working class
proprio [propriétaire] - landlord, landlady
psy [psychologue] - psychologist
radin - cheap
reuch - expensive
richard (m) - very wealthy man
rmiste (m) - someone who earns the jobseeker's allowance (RMI)
salé - expensive (a bill)
se faire arnaquer - to get ripped off
smicard (m) - someone who earns minimum wage (SMIC)
taffe (m) - job, work
thune (f) - money / coin
toubib (m) - doctor
turbin (m) - job, daily grind

Ça coûte la peau des fesses ! / Ça douille ! - That's really expensive!


Love & Dating Listen to MP3

amourettes (f) - passing love affairs
avoir le béguin pour / craquer pour
/ en pincer pour / flasher sur quelqu'un - to have a crush on someone
avoir le coup de foudre - to be in love at first sight
avoir un cœur d'artichaut - to be fickle (in love)
brancher quelqu'un - to try to seduce someone
bombe (f) - attractive woman
boudin / thon / pou (m) - ugly person [these are mean words!]
canon (m) - hot, very attractive person
capote (f) / chapeau / gant (m) - condom
choper / emballer / embarquer quelqu'un - to succesfully seduce / pick up someone
draguer / flirter - to flirt
en cloque - pregnant / "knocked up"
se faire jeter / se prendre une veste - to get denied, turned down
gars / mec / type / bonhomme / keum - guy, man
jules - boyfriend, lover
kiffer - to like
lové - cuddly, snuggly
larguer / plaquer - to leave, dump (a person)
mater quelqu'un - to check out (someone)
moche - ugly
nana / nénette / minette / gonzesse / meuf - woman, girl, chick
se remettre de quelqu'un - to get over someone
rencard (m) - date
rouler un patin / une pelle à quelqu'un - to French kiss someone
poser un lapin à quelqu'un - to stand someone up (for a date)
tripoter / peloter - to grope, fondle


Fashion & Shopping Listen to MP3

baskets (m) - tennis shoes / sneakers
bermuda
(m) - knee-length shorts
body
(m) - bodysuit/onesie for a baby
costard
(m) - suit
fringues (f) - clothing
futal (m) - pants
godasse (f) - shoe
jogging / survêt / training (m) - jogging suit
pébroc / pépin / chamberlain (m) - umbrella
pompe (f) - shoe
shorty (m) - "boy short" underwear for women
string (m) - thong underwear
sweat (m) - sweatshirt

brushing (m) - blowdry
fringué / sapé
- dressed
lifting (m) - face lift
rabais - discount
relooking (m) - makeover
ringard - old fashioned, out of style


Entertainment & Technology Listen to MP3

clope / sèche (f) - cigarette
came (f) - drugs
défoncé - high
boîte (f) - nightclub, bar
court-jus (m) - short circuit
boum / teuf (f) - party
resto (m) - restaurant
se faire un resto - to go out to eat
s'éclater - to have fun
se marrer - to laugh
mater la téloche - to watch TV
se faire un ciné / se faire une toile - to go to the movies
cinoche
(m) - movie theather
faire un tabac - to be a hit, success (a film, a song, etc.)
tube (f) - hit song
play-back (m) - lip-synching
zapping (m) - channel surfing
buter - to bump off, kill
taule / calèche (f) - jail, slammer
maton (m) - prison guard
se faire la belle / se carapater - to run away, escape
cavale (f) - escape (from prison)
pétard (m) - gun / joint
potin (m) - gossip
people / pipol (m) - celebrities
casting (m) - audition
book (m) - portfolio (for a model, actor, etc.)


Baby Talk Listen to MP3

faire dodo - to go beddy-bye
avoir un bobo - to have a booboo
faire pipi - to go peepee
faire caca - to go poopoo

mamie / mémé - grandma
pappy / pépé - grandpa
tata / tatie - aunt
tonton - uncle

doudou (m) - favorite stuffed animal / blankie
joujoux (m) - toys
nounours (m) - teddy bear
toto (m) - car
lolo (m) - milk

minet (m) - kitty
toutou (m) - doggy
dada (f) - horsie


Proper Names Listen to MP3

A la tienne, Etienne ! Cheers!

Ça glisse, Alice ! It's slippery!

Tu parles, Charles ! You bet!

Tranquille, Emile ! Calm down!


Idioms & Proverbs Listen to MP3

C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron. Practice makes perfect.
Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait. If the young knew, if the old could.
Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. To understand is to forgive.
Vouloir, c'est pouvoir. Where there's a will, there's a way.
Un de perdu, dix de retrouvés. There's other fish in the sea.
L'habit ne fait pas le moine. Clothes doesn't make the man.

Animals Listen to MP3

avoir d'autres chats à fouetter - to have better things to do; other fish to fry
avoir un chat dans la gorge - to have a frog in your throat
doux comme un agneau - soft/gentle like a lamb
un froid de canard - very cold
appeler un chat un chat - to call a spade a spade
s'entendre comme chien et chat - to get along like cats and dogs
un mal de chien - difficulties
une vie de chien - difficult life
passer du coq à l'âne - to change subjects quickly
avoir une mémoire d'éléphant - to have a good memory
avoir une faim de loup - to be starving
marcher à pas de loup - to walk silently
revenir à ses moutons - to get back to the subject
avoir la chair de poule - to have goosebumps
quand les poules auront les dents - when pigs fly
une peau de vache - a mean person
une langue de vipère - a person who often speaks badly of others
chercher la petite bête - to nitpick, split hairs
avoir le cafard - to be down, depressed
entre chien et loup - at dusk, sundown
avaler des couleuvres - to swallow one's pride
la brebis galeuse de la famille - black sheep of the family
le bouc émissaire / le dindon de la farce - scapegoat
avoir une araignée au plafond - to have bats in the belfry
être heureux comme un poisson dans l'eau - to be as happy as a clam at high tide
il y a anguille sous la roche - I smell a rat
il faut ménager la chèvre et le chou - you have to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
jetter quelqu'un dans la fosse aux lions - to throw someone to the wolves
se jeter dans la gueule du loup - to put one's hand in the lion's mouth
courir deux lièvres à la fois - to ride two horses at the same time
mettre la charue avant les bœufs - to put the cart before the horse
ce n'est pas à un vieux singe qu'on apprend à faire des grimaces - you can't teach an old dog new tricks
être hardi comme un coq sur son fumier - to be a showoff
avoir une fièvre de cheval - to have a high fever

Body Parts Listen to MP3

se creuser la tête - to think really hard
se croire sorti de la cuisse de Jupiter - to think oneself is better than everyone else
se mettre le doigt dans l'œil - to make a mistake
rester bouche cousue - to not say anything; keep a secret
avoir le coeur sur le main - to wear one's heart on one's sleeve
avoir un cheveu sur la langue - to lisp
ne pas avoir la langue dans sa poche - to be talkative
avoir la langue bien pendue - to know how to answer/talk
faire la tête - to pout
garder la tête froide - to keep one's calm
ne pas avoir froid aux yeux - to not be scared
avoir/mettre l'eau à la bouche - to want/drool over something
rester bouche bée - to be speechless
ne rien faire de ses dix doigts - to be lazy
avoir l'estomac dans les talons - to be hungry
prendre ses jambes à son cou - to leave quickly
ne pas lever le nez - to concentrate on something
à l'œil - without paying, for free
faire la sourde oreille - to not listen/hear
être bête comme ses pieds - to be stupid
mettre les pieds dans le plat - to say/do something stupid
coûter les yeux de la tête - to cost an arm and a leg
se payer la tête de quelqu-'un - to pull someone's leg
donner sa langue au chat - to give up
avoir les dents longues - to be ambitious
avoir le bras long - to have influence, connections
être au bout de la langue - to be at the tip of your tongue
avoir un poil dans la main - to be lazy, to avoid work
casser les pieds à quelqu'un - to get on someone's nerves
manger sur le pouce - to grab a bite to eat
enlever une épine du pied à quelqu'un - to help someone out
dormir sur les deux oreilles - to sleep soundly
prendre la lune avec les dents - to try to do the impossible
rebattre les oreilles - to repeat the same story over and over

Numbers Listen to MP3

en moins de deux - very quickly
chercher midi à quatorze heures - to make things complicated
comme deux et deux font quatre - sure, certain
les deux font la paire - both are the same
jamais deux sans trois - something that's happened twice, will happen a third time
ni une ni deux - without hesitating, very fast
quatre à quatre - quickly
dire des quatre vérités à quelqu'un - to say what you think of someone
se mettre en quatre - to give oneself a hard task
un de ces quatre - one of these days
être tiré à quatre épingles - to be dressed well
tourner sept fois sa langue dans sa bouche - to take time to think before speaking
voir trente-six chandelles - to see stars
faire les cent pas - to pace back and forth, come and go
faire les quatre cents coups - to have a hectic and chaotic life; to sow one's wild oats
se mettre sur son trente et un - to be dressed to kill

Colors Listen to MP3

blanc bonnet et bonnet blanc - the same thing
être blanc comme un linge - to be white from fear
passer une nuit blanche - to spend a sleepless night
donner carte blanche à quelqu'un - to let someone do what they want
être un cordon bleu - to be a good cook
être fleur bleu - to be sentimental
avoir une peur bleue - to be scared stiff
être la bete noire - to be the person that no one likes
avoir des idées noires - to be sad
voir la vie en rose - to see the good side of things, to be optimistic
donner le feu vert - to give the green light to someone
se mettre au vert - to rest in the countryside
devenir pourpre - to get red with embarassment

Food Listen to MP3

appuyer sur le champignon - to go very fast, accelerate
être haut comme trois pommes - to be small
ne pas être dans son assiette - to not feel yourself
sucrer les fraises - to be senile, crazy
tomber dans les pommes - to faint, pass out
couper la poire en deux - to meet halfway
jeter de l'huile sur le feu - to add fuel to the fire
tondre des œufs - to be cheap, a skinflint
pédaler dans la semoule - to become insane, senile
c'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder la vase - it's the straw that broke the camel's back
mettre du beurre dans les épinards - to help financially
casser du sucre sur son dos - to spread lies about someone, talk about someone behind his/her back
être dans le pétrin - to be in a jam

Other Listen to MP3

être dans ses petits souliers - to not feel comfortable
avoir des oursins dans la poche - to be stingy, cheap
faire d'une pierre deux coups - to kill two birds with one stone
ne pas être de la dernière pluie - to not be born yesterday
pendre la crémaillère - to have a house-warming party
vendre la mèche - to let the cat out of the bag, to tell a secret
n'y voir que du feu - to be taken in / to be had
ne pas y aller avec le dos de la cuillière - to not be subtle about something
faire un chèque en bois - to write a bad check
manger les pissenlits par la racine - to push up daisies, to be dead and buried
tourner autour du pot - to beat around the bush
se mettre à table - to confess, come clean
mettre des bâtons dans les roues de quelqu'un - to throw a monkey wrench in someone's business
reprendre ses billes - to renege on a deal
un coup d'épée dans l'eau - a wasted effort
être au four et au moulin - to be in two places at once
faire le pont - to take a long weekend
tirer les plans sur la comète - to count one's chickens before they have hatched
ce n'est pas la mer à boire - it's not as bad as all that
c'est au bout du monde - it's halfway around the world
ce n'est pas le Pérou - it's nothing to write home about / it's no great fortune
tirer le diable par la queue - to barely get by, have a hard time
il ne faut pas déshabiller Pierre pour payer Paul - you shouldn't rob Paul to pay Peter
parler à quelqu'un à brûle-pourpoint - to ask someone point-blank
raconter des histoires à dormir debout - to tell tall tales
prendre la poudre d'escampette - to leave quickly
tirer son épingle du jeu - to get out of a difficult situation
mener en bateau - to lead someone on, to lie


Each exercise will open in a new window.

Matching Exercises Multiple Choice Exercises Gap-Fill Exercises
Adjectives
Nouns 1 / Nouns 2 / Nouns 3
Verbs 1 / Verbs 2 / Verbs 3
School
Body Parts
Dating
Entertainment
Eating & Drinking
Work & Money
People
Emotions & Personality
Random Vocabulary
Animal Idioms
Body Part Idioms
Colors & Numbers Idioms
Food Idioms
Other Idioms

 


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