The Alternative French Dictionary — Page 1 of 2

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a

allumé(e) (adj.) drunk note lit: lit up

b

baiser to fuck note This sense has almost replaced the earlier one of "to kiss", which in contemporary French is "embrasser". Do not use "baiser" to mean "to kiss" if you don't want to be misunderstood!
bander (verb, intransitive) to have a hard-on note bander is commonly used for a bow drawn taut to let the arrow fly. Somehow the erect penis, hopefully hard, may have a similarity to a bow - just as in "tirer un coup" it is similar to a loaded gun. bander is not used with a direct object, but it can certainly be followed by a number of metaphors: bander comme un cerf (hard as a deer), comme un tigre (like a tiger). A particularly popular African wood with definite (and sometimes dangerous) aphrodisiac properties is know as "bois bandé". It is likely that in an intimate setting Abélard might have said to Héloïse "je bande pour toi" (i have a boner for you),and in the same setting she would be proud that he is "un bandeur", but in normal social intercourse it would not be considered appropriate to use any of those terms. However, the reverse would be quite possible: "débander", i.e., literally to become limp again, is also used metaphorically for "to chicken out". "Alors, mec, tu débandes?" - "Are you chicken?".
BCBG (noun phrase, used as an adjective, both genders) prim and proper (literally). note Prim and proper translates easily into bourgeois, upper middle-class, excessively formal, conservative,and, by and large, stuffy. French society hangs on to a large number of formalities that make the appearance of individuals (in terms of the language they use,the clothes they wear, the company they keep, the attitudes they affect)incredibly important. The proverb "l'habit fait le moine" (you judge the monk by his clothes, i.e.the book by its cover), although it can also be used in the negative (l'habit ne fait pas le moine)has some truth for most people. Female politicians, in particular, are expected to look very BCBG if they want to be successful...otherwise, they might be considered akin to fishmongers, using vulgar language like the first female prime minister, Edith Cresson, who was judged more by her appearance than by anything else...negatively, of course. Even though she was, on the whole, very BCBG, and only mimicked popular forms of speech.
BCBG Used to describe something very chic note Acronym for "Bon chic, bon genre". Originally used to describe high fashion, or the ultimate in good taste. Now often used disparagingly to describe pretentious "yuppies".
bigornette (noun; fem) cocaine/horse note litt. translation: a fight. Prendre de la bigornette.
bite, bitte cock, prick note "Bitte" has the literal sense of "bollard".
bloblos (noun, feminine, plural) large, fat, drooping boobs note The word can be considered somewhat vulgar - except to males drooling on big-chested women who obviously have not chosen the artificial firmness of silicone. In fact, "bloblos" is a vulgarizing variation of a word found commonly in children's language, "lolos", the source of milk, commonly known as "du lolo". Songwriter Serge Gainsbourg made ample use of "les lolos de lola" in his songs about dreamgirl Lola Rastaquouère (obviously not his wife, Jane Birkin, considering herself the most flat-chested actress in show business).
Bonjour je m'apelle Guillaume et je parle de MTL. hi,i mi name is william and i call from montreal
bordel (masc. noun) chaos, shit; literally 'brothel' note better when preceded by 'putain de'
bosser (v) to work note Very commonly used expression referring to working at one's job.
bourré,e pissed, drunk note [buRe] A very commonly used variation of "ivre"
branlage wanking (noun), masturbation
branlette a wank, an act of masturbation
branleur, branleuse (noun) wanker, insignificant or stupid person note mildly offensive
brouter le cresson (verb) to perform cunnilingus note Literal translation: "to graze the watercress."

c

caca poo, doo-doo note Found in certain non-slang combinations such as "caca d'oie", a type of green.
cailler (v) to be cold note Esp. used in: Ça caille!: It's cold, or it's freezing! and, Putain, je me caille!: Shit, I'm cold!
casser la gueule à quelqu'un (phr.) to beat the shit out of someone note lit: to break someone's face Ex: Je casserai la gueuele à Jean -- I'm going to beat the shit out of Jean.
cette putain de machine this fucking machine note can be used in any phrase
charbon (noun, masculine) coal note "aller au charbon" is possibly to go down underground to mine it (which was common in several parts of France) or go to the cellar to bring some for the stoves, as was common until the 1940s in many places. Borrowed from the 19th century, the expression "aller au charbon" was used by former prime minister Raymond Barre, a very non-political politician recruited for his supposed economic skills, when president Giscard d'Estaing forced him to be a candidate in a district of Lyons - a town where he became an essentially absentee mayor a few years later, French politics being a mysterious interplay between local (i.e., unimportant) and national (i.e., supernatural) politics. "Aller au charbon", somehow, could have meant: going down to the level of "les charbonniers" (the coal-people), i.e. the vulgum pecus, me, you, and all the other voters who should have been flattered to have the president-proclaimed best French economist as representative.
chatte pussy note Refers to the female genitalia.
Chauve à col roulé (noun phrase, masculine) The bald one with a turtleneck note A large number of French males being uncircumcized, the analogy is obvious between the uncapped penile head with the folds of the foreskin pulled back under the tip, and a bald man wearing a turtleneck. Chauve should be pronounced somewhat like "shove" in English.
chiasse the runs, the trots note Diarrhoea
chier to shit note Also used in "tu me fais chier" ("you make me puke").
chinois (noun, masculine) the Chinaman - i.e., a penis note Is it because the opening at the tip is somewhat more like a slit than an actual hole? Whatever the cause, our Chinese comrades are often put to good use with the metaphor "se polir le Chinois" (to polish the Chinaman), for the very sweet act of giving yourself pleasure.
chiottes the bog (UK), the can (US)
cigare (noun, masculine) dick note Commonly used in phrases like "couper le cigare" (to circumcize, in kids' slang), "fumer le cigare" (to give a blowjob). The analogy can be pursued further in the latter case, as some women will not only be able to smoke the joint, but will also "avaler la fumée" (swallow the smoke, literally, obviously the semen). The comparison between the penis and a cigar can even be found in more literary circumstances: in a scene of the novel Le Temps des Anges by Swiss-French ewriter Catherine Colomb, a banker cuts the tip off a Cuban cigar with his teeth...and thinks about a Jewish friend of his.
cirer (verb, transitive) to shine (shoes, floors) note a common verb that was used in a cryptic way by the first female prime minister of France, socialist Edith Cresson, when she answered during a scrum: "la bourse, j'en ai rien à cirer" (the stock exchange, i don't have any use for it). It didn't help her political career, which was quite short, and convinced the French, who deep down are quite conservative, that she was too vulgar for the job. Especially when she accused the British of being usually gay, and the Japanese of being bastards.
clair comme dans le cul d'un negre clear as negro's ass note - no comment -
clair comme dans le cul d'un negre clear as negro's ass note - no comment -
clito (noun, feminine) clit note Apart from medical journals, noone uses the complete form "clitoris" for what most females consider the center of pleasure (unless they had the misfortune of coming from some African country where it's considered in poor taste to keep it). A young lady will not hesitate in requesting a reasonably good lover to give the little toy a tongue bath, as in "lèche-moi le clito, mec" (lick my clit, man). Some men will respond to such a request by "descendre à la cave", literally going down into the basement.
con cunt note Refers to the female genitalia.
con cunt, bastard, wanker, etc note Insult towards a man. Female form: "conne".
connard cunt, bastard, wanker, etc note Insult towards a man. Female form: "connarde".
connasse cunt, bitch, etc note Insult towards a woman. No male form.
couilles balls, bollocks note Testicles.
cramouille (noun, feminine) wet slit note Commonly used when for some reason a male wants to use a slightly unpleasant noun for the genitals of a female - hopefully one he knows well, unless he really despises her. It insists on the wetness of the slit that graces women's bellies, as "mouille" indicates...as in "elle mouille" (she's getting wet).
cul arse (US ass), bottom note Not as strong as in English as this word is also used non-offensively to mean the bottom of an object.

d

dans les vignes du Seigneur to be drunk note lit: in the vines of the Lord.
de merde bloody, fucking note Used after a noun as an intensifier. Eg: "putain de merde!" ("fucking hell!").
de'conner (verb) to trick, to jerk around note Commonly used. Example of popular use: "Sans de'conner!" meaning "No kidding!" or "No shit!"
déconner (verb) to trick, to jerk around note Commonly used. Example: "sans déconner!" ("no kidding!" or "no shit!")
doudounes (noun, feminine plural) tits note There are numerous ways to call what the breasts of females. "doudounes" is a nice, relatively recent one (the 70s, the phonetically repetitive form probably influenced by the rise of creole words in European French). Other include: "les roberts", "les nénés", "les nichons". Swiss writer Alexandre Voisard, obsessed with breasts, even wrote a hilarious short story about "le club des Robert", where the double-entendre obviously comes from the fact that Robert is a common first name, but also known to all as a tit.
drague (noun, fem.) looking for sex partners note Literal translation: dredge. Gay slang for "cruising", "Faire la drague": go looking for sex partners. Used exclusively by gay men, not by straight men looking for women.

e

emmener Popaul au cirque (verb phrase) to take Joe Blow to the circus. note Popaul (also known as Popol) loves the circus. Except Popaul looks a bit already like the pink trunk of a tiny elephant - in fact, just like a dick. For the circus, well...it's usually hidden at the junction of a lady's thighs. Needless to say, Popaul enjoys the circus immensely...just like kids watching clowns and tigers erupt in laughter.
emmerdant (adj) intensely annoying note Example of use: "Que tu es emmerdant!" ("You really piss me off!" (ie "You annoy me intensely")).
enculé bastard, cunt, etc note Insult used towards a man. Derived from "enculer" (qv).
enculer to bugger, to fuck note Refers to anal sex only. Derived from "cul" (qv).
enfoiré bastard, shit, etc note Same sense as "encule".
Enlève ta croute que je swingue dans l'pus (phrase) Take your scab out, I'll fuck in the pus. note It will shock litterally everyone within hearing distance. It is used as a comic sentence said to a girl from a man (or a lesbian).
étron turd note Used in the literal sense of a piece of faeces.

f

fille a prostitute note "Fille" is the normal word for "girl" or "daughter" but only if it is used with some kind of descriptive word as in "ma fille" (my daughter) or "une jeune fille" (a young girl). This piece of information might be of some importance if you should visit France. Not every dictionary mentions this fact!
fils de pute/putain sonofabitch
flic (noun, masc) police constable, cop
folle queen note Term for a gay man, especially one who is effeminate. Literal meaning: "madwoman".
foutre (noun, masc.) sperm, "cum" note Derived from the verb "foutre": to fuck. Gay slang for shooting cum on someone during sex. "Donne-moi ton foutre" = Give me your cum. "Je veux lecher ton foutre" = I want to swallow your cum.
foutre (verb) to bugger up, to screw up note To ruin, to spoil. Examples of use: "On est foutu!" ("We're done for!", "We're finished!"); "La voiture est foutue" ("The car is knackered/buggered/fucked (US)" (ie beyond repair)).
foutre (verb) to fuck note Rarely used except in "va te faire foutre!" (qv). The preferred slang is "baiser" (qv).

g

gerber (verb) to puke, barf, hurl
god (e) dildo
gouine (feminine noun) dyke note A lesbian.
grogniasse (fem. noun) woman note synonym to pétasse, pouffiasse, greluche and femme. Not very nice, but in France, it should not be enough for receiving a slap.

j

jouir to come note Used in the sexual sense

k

keuf (n.m) cop note Urban language but don't say that to a cop...

l

la putain de ta mére You'r mother is a whore note as "fils de pute"
laisse be'ton Let it drop! note [lEs'beto~] Verlan version of "laisse tomber"
les Anglais (noun, masculine, plural) the Redcoats (the Red Flag, etc...) note French, as any other language, has numerous periphrastic and euphemistic expressions to indicate female menstruation, a phenomenon that our male-dominated societies, until recently, did not consider dignified enough to even mention in society. The image of blood leads automatically to "les Anglais ont débarqué" (the Redcoats have landed), which proves how much the French loved the English. Other potential phrases include "Ma tante Rose a débarqué" (Aunt Rosie's arrived), "j'ai mes fleurs" (i've got my flowers - roses, probably), "j'ai mes ours" (i've got my bears), or the flat and very BCBG "je suis indisposée", equivalent to "I'm sick" in English and "Ich bin krank" in German. To be fair, let's admit that Tampax and other tampons certainly changed the outlook on periods: until then, most women had to wear big chunks of linen between their legs, and male children were inevitably exposed to bloody rags in chamberpots or other sanitary fixtures, certainly reinforcing negative visions of menstrual blood.
livrer aux chiens (verb phrase) to sacrifice to raving dogs note the end of the Mitterand régime, after 14 years of presidency for François Mitterand, were definitely marred by an endless list of financial scandals, both left and right. Several politicians even went to jail. Mitterand's last socialist prime minister, an unpleasant and ambitious yes-man who had become a reasonably competent but politically cloutless Finance minister, Pierre Bérégovoy, took the sound beating of the socialists in 1992 as his personal defeat...and felt threatened when it was revealed that he had not only been involved in shady deals to please the president's friends, but also for personal gain (primarily, an apartment in a luxury district of Paris, symbol of success for him, as the only member of the socialist elite who really had no advanced degrees and a popular origin). He committed suicide, and, in his funeral eulogy, the president launched into some stinging words against those who had "livré aux chiens" (thrown to the dogs) the "honor" of Bérégovoy. He meant, primarily, journalists.

m

MALPT! (Expletive) Used to wish someone tremendous good luck note Abbreviation for the phrase "Merde A La Puissance Treize!" which is translated as "Shit to the thirteenth power". Origin unknown. Used as a friendly term. Example: a friend of yours is about to take an exam. You would say "MALPT!" to wish him well!
maquereau (noun, masculine) pimp note although the official word is "proxénète", noone but the cops and the courts uses it. A pimp is "un maquereau", and, when female, "une maquerelle", even "la mère maquerelle". Un maquereau is of course, literally, a fish (mackerel). See also "merlan" et "morue", to see how seafood impregnated French popular language, probably because fishmongers (particularly the female) were considered to have as colorful a language as mule drivers: "un langage de charretier" (a cart-driver's vulgar speech) is no better than "une langue de poissonière" (a female fishmonger's speech).
mec, un (noun, masc.) guy, dude, bloke note Said to be the Verlan version of "homme." How reversing this word produces "mec," I don't know. It's very common, found in print and rap music as well as conversations.
melon (noun, masculine) an equivalent of : a damn Arab! note A melon is obviously grown in hot, Mediterranean climates. The metaphor is therefore easy to understand. There are numerous words for the group (albeit 5,000,000 strong) that racist French people despise as much as American racists despise(d) niggers at one point: "les bougnoules", "les bicots", "les ratons" - and, when they are of Arab origin and French citizens (the nightmare of fascist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen!), "les beurs", "les petits beurs", and their female counterparts, "les beurettes".
ménage a trois (noun) threesome note This term enjoys very popular usage in the States; pronounced "may-naj-sha-twa".
merde (noun, F.) shit
merdeux crap(py), shit(ty) (adjs)
merlan (noun, masculine) hairdresser note another word of maritime origin. Not to be confused with un maquereau!
meuf, une a woman, une femme note [moef] This is the Verlan version of "femme". The syllables are reversed, and "eu" is added
meuf, une a woman, une femme note [moef] This is the Verlan version of "femme". The syllables are reversed, and "eu" is added
morue (noun, feminine) a low-level whore note morue (originally cod), like "merlan" or "maquereau", is a word referring originally to fish. "la morue" was obviously the most common fish, from the Middle Ages on (the only one you could dry, salt, and keep for all those periods when you had to eat fish). furthermore, unwashed female genitals (and, from the 16th to the 19th century, washing was not a priority of most French people, rich or poor)definitely tend, after a few days, to smell in the not-so-refined way of not-so-fresh fish, be it cod or any other...
moule (noun, feminine) vulva note Commonly used. More descriptive (the female external genitals look like an open mussel, and somehow smell like it)than insulting (like con or cramouille for instance). This term has of course led to a lot of humorous double-entendre, as in the late 19th century popular song "à la pêche aux moules, moules, moules, je veux m'en aller maman...". To be pronounced somewhat like "mool" for English speakers.

n

nique ta mère fuck your mother note very common in the suburbs, especially among migrant population. Can also be abbreviated as "Ta mèreŠ"
noune (common noun) vagina, female genitals note (Pronounced as noonn) commonly used as the word reffering to the female genitals. Used in a replacement for vulva in a normal non formal conversation.

o

oignon (noun, masculine) onion - in fact, the ass or the asshole note The reason for the analogy is probably that they're all round-shaped. L'oignon is therefore the equivalent of "le cul", and, just like it, we can consider the whole or the part: "lui carrer dans l'oignon", in slang, is to shove it in her (or alternatively his) asshole.

p

papa dad
parachuter un senegalais (verb) to take a dump, crap, shit note Local slang used in Bretagne. Literally, "to parachute a Senegalese."
pédale queer, poof note Variant of "pede" (qv).
pédale (f), serin (m), grande folle (f), tapette (f), (all nouns) They are synonyms of queer, gays, homosexual. note Commonly used words for homosexuals. The word in parentheses refers to the gender. Note that the "grande folle" refers more to a drag queen.
Pede Homosexual applied to men only. note Very common use.
pédé queer, faggot note Derogatory term for a gay man.
péter (verb) to fart note When conjugated, this verb takes the grave accent in the "je/tu/il/elle/on/ils/elles" forms, but NOT in the "nous/vous" forms, e.g., "Je pète" but "Vous petez." The verb "répeter" has an acute accent on the first syllable and should be pronounced that way; otherwise, the unwary foreigner will utter "Repetez, s'il vous plaît," which means "Please fart again" instead of "Répetez, s'il vous plaît," i.e., "Please, repeat [that]."
péter plus haut que [son] cul (expression) to have an inflated opinion of oneself. Literally, to fart higher than [one's] asshole note Mon prof pète plus haut de son cul.= My teacher's opinion of his own abilities is exaggerated. See "péter."
pipe (noun, f) blowjob note Faire une pipe: To give a blowjob
pipi pee, wee(-wee) note "faire pipi": "to do/have a wee(-wee)/pee"
pisser to pee, to piss note More colloquial than offensive in French. Also used in senses such as "son nez pisse du sang" ("blood is pouring from his/her nose")
poilu (noun, masc.) a man who is a stud, a real hunk note Literal translation: hairy, shaggy. Gay slang for men with hairy chests or with moustaches or beards.
polichinelle (noun, masculine) a puppet - in this case, a duck note although "un polichinelle" will be used in an amused way to indicate a kid, the full original expression is "elle a un polichinelle dans le tiroir", i.e. the equivalent of "she's got a duck in the oven"...in other words, she's pregnant. Just like periods were only referred to in an oblique way, well-bred people did not say about a woman (until the 1950s) that she was pregnant, except maybe for country folk who might have used "elle est grosse" as for animals. "Elle est dans une situation intéressante" was quite common until the 1940s. "Elle attend un bébé" would even have been too crude for children: they might have known that "les bébés" were not born in "les choux" (cabbages), or brought by "les cigognes" (the storks). Between males, however, crude speech was required...and "elle a un polichinelle dans l'tiroir" was, and still is, a common way to indicate that a lady is pregnant.
pouffiasse (n.f) bitch, hore note Very rude : use it to talk about some (bad) girl but never say it to the (bad) girl herself !
poulet (n.m) cop (litt. : chiken) note Cops know this word but hate it !
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