Slang is a form of colloquial and popular language used by specific social groups in France. Most of these groups are young people, but this is not always the case. Slang words or expressions are often used in a friendly, casual setting.
It is characterized by the use of words and expressions that are often obscure to the uninitiated.
Slang is an integral part of the French language and is found in many aspects of popular culture, from music to movies. I'm going to introduce you to 50 French slang words that I hear or use very often, here in France.
The purpose of this article is for you to use these words (or understand them) to enrich your vocabulary and better understand this form of language. Be careful though, you should NEVER use these slang words or expressions in a formal setting (at work for example).
Some of these slang words or examples may be vulgar or offensive to some people, so it is recommended that they be used with caution and in context.
List of 50+ French slang words or expressions
🍔 "Avoir la dalle" slang expression to say that one is hungry.
Example: "I'm really hungry, I haven't eaten since this morning!"
💵 "Balles" slang word for money, especially euros.
Example: "It's not expensive, it costs only 20 balls (20 euros)".
💪🏼 "Baraque" French slang word for a very strong person.
Example: "I never fight with him. Did you see how tough he is? I don't stand a chance!"
🚗 "Blinder" : when it is completely full, when there are people.
Example: "I preferred to avoid Wilson Street, it is always crowded at that time of the day".
"Boloss" : someone who is strange, who has a behavior not adapted in society;
Example : "Nico is a boloss, he insulted Noémie in front of everyone".
🧢 "Caillera" verlan of scum. Person likely to be disturbing ;
Example: "He often hung out with the neighborhood scoundrels."
"Chelou" when something (or someone) is weird or strange.
Example: "I think he looks weird on this picture, he has a funny face".
"Chouraver" : slang verb which means to steal discreetly.
Example, "He chopped an apple in the supermarket."
🚬 "Clope" means a cigarette in French slang.
Example: "Can you give me a cigarette please?"
👴 "Daron(ne)" means the father or the mother.
Example: "My girlfriend called me last night."
🚀 "Deter" : When you are motivated.
Example: "I am so determined to succeed in school."
🔫 "Flingue” : firearm ;
Example: "He had a gun in his pocket."
💵 "Fric" Slang word for money.
Example: "He made a lot of money from his business."
👶 “Gosses” Designates the children.
Example: "There are kids downstairs making a lot of noise.
🍔 “Grailler” Slang word meaning to eat.
Example: "I had a pizza for lunch".
🗣️ "Jacter" : talk or discuss.
Example: "We had a good chat on our date."
👮♀️ "Keuf" Designates a police officer.
Example : "He was arrested by the cops this morning".
😘 "Kiffer" Synonym in slang for the verb to love.
Example: "I love this movie so much!"
😍 “Ma meuf” : my girlfriend, in the loving sense.
Example: "I'm really in love with my girl"
😍 “Mon mec” : my boyfriend, in the loving sense.
Example: "My guy is too handsome."
❌ “C’est mort” : when it is impossible/improbable ;
Example: "It's dead, I'm never going to find the love of my life, I suck at dating."
🤯 “Ouf” : verlan of crazy.
Example: "This guy is totally nuts!"
👯 "Pécho quelqu’un” slang expression to say that one has kissed or slept with someone.
Example: "You'll never guess who I picked up at the party.
😎 "Pépère" : to say that we are quiet, relaxed.
Example: "I'm nice and cushy at home tonight."
🤑 "Pognon” slang word for a sum of money.
Example : "It costs a lot of money to build this house, I'll be ruined if it continues".
🙆♂️ "Pote" designate a friend ;
Example, "I went out with my buddies last night."
📎 "Radin" : person who has difficulty spending money ;
Example: "My boss is a little cheap."
📎 “Un rat” : as a cheapskate, someone who has trouble spending money.
Example: My boyfriend is a real rat, he never invites me to a restaurant.
❌ “Rater” : synonymous with failure.
Example: "I don't want to fail my exam."
👴 “Rouiller” : not training to do something and losing your level.
Example: "I'm going for a run tomorrow morning so I don't get rusty."
😓 “Être ruiné” : not having any more money
Example : "I am ruined, I was scammed by a swindler".
🥶 “Se les cailler” slang expression used to say that one is very cold.
Example: "This morning I was curling up waiting for the bus."
🥶 “Se les geler” As "to curdle them", we use this expression to say that we have very cold.
Example: "This morning I was freezing while waiting for the bus."
🤕 “Se prendre un râteau” being rejected by a person.
Example: "He got raked by his girlfriend."
😴 “Etre saoulé” : When you are fed up with something.
Example: "I'm sick of this situation, I can't take it anymore."
😡 "Le seum" slang term to say that one is irritated by something.
Example: "I'm so pissed, my team got knocked out in the World Cup semi-finals."
"Souk" : disorder ;
Example: "Our room was a mess."
“Tailler” : leave quickly ;
Example, "I have to trim to get there on time."
🥳 "Teuf" A party where there is a very festive atmosphere (music + alcohol)
Example: "We're going to a party tonight, are you coming?"
"Teufeur" : person who goes to techno parties;
Example: "He's always pretending to be a partier."
💰 "Thune" : silver ;
Example: "All he talks about is money and income."
🍷 "Tiser" : drinking alcohol;
Example: "We went to the bar next door to drink a beer."
🏎️ "Tracer" : leave quickly ;
Example, "We had to trace because of the rain."
"Trimer" : work a lot ;
Example: "I have to work hard to pass my exams."
😡 “Vénère” : angry;
Example: "I'm really pissed off at my ex!"
😵 “Voir double” : being drunk ;
Example: "He had been drinking heavily and was seeing double."
"Wesh." : Hi;
Example: "Wesh, how are you doing?"
“Zapper” : change something quickly ;
Example: "I flipped through all the channels last night."
"Zoner" : hanging out in the street ;
Example: "We were zoning out in the downtown area last night."
How do you know if you can use slang expressions?
The use of slang depends on the context, the people present, and the purpose of the conversation. In general, slang is used in informal, casual situations between people who know each other well or who belong to a shared social, cultural or professional group. This may include close friends, co-workers or members of the same community.
But beware, slang is not always appropriate in all situations and may be considered rude or inappropriate by some people. It is therefore best to know your audience and adapt to the context.
To avoid making a mistake, always remember the following. If you doubt, then it is preferable to use more formal language to avoid any misunderstanding or offense.