70 Most Common French Slang Words and Phrases

Did you know that, in real life, French people don’t speak French? Or more precisely, not the French language you learn at school. They have argot (slang) words or expressions for about everything. Slang words that mean money, friend or cool are used extensively by young people. Your ability to understand and use argot may help you live a real French speaking experience.

It's interesting that argot or informal French sayings come from the underworld. The first French slang words appeared in the fifteenth century. The criminals used technical words, typical of their illegal activities, and encoded them to create a secret language or jargon that only them could understand.

We've compiled a list of the most commonly used French slang words and expressions to help you talk like a native. If you want to keep them in your pocket, you might want to try French Translator & Dictionary + by VidaLingua. You can download it for free on your iPhone and Android.

48 Most common French slang words

beautiful - canon

book - bouquin

brother - frangin

camembert cheese - calendos

car - bagnole, caisse, tire

child - gosse, môme, gamin, moutard, mioche, marmot

cigarette - clope

clothes - fringues

crazy - dingue, cinglé, taré, ouf, barré

dog - clébard, clebs

to drink - picoler

to eat - bouffer, béqueter, becqueter

eye - mirette

face - tronche, bouille

fish - poiscaille

foot - panard

friend - pote, poteau

gun - flingue

hair - tif

hand - paluche, louche, pogne, menotte, mimine

head - caboche

horse - canasson

house - baraque, bicoque

irritated - vénère

to knock up - bidouiller

lawyer - baveux

to leave - se casser, se tirer, dégager

leg - guibole

to like - kifer, kiffer

man - mec, gars, type, keum

meat - bidoche

money - fric, thune, tune, pognon, blé, oseille, flouse, pèze

mother-in-law - belle-doche

muscular - baraqué, balaise, balèze, costaud

nose - pif, tarin, blair

police - flic, keuf, poulet

school - bahut

sister - frangine

to sleep - pioncer, roupiller

to talk - causer, jacter

testicles - couilles, burnes, roustons, roupettes, roubignoles

toilet - chiottes

to understand - piger, capter

to vomit - dégueuler, gerber, dégobiller

wine - pinard, pive

woman - meuf, nana, gonzesse

work - boulot, taf, turbin

to work - bosser, taffer

22 Most common French slang expressions

Boire un pot/un coup - To have a drink

Ça craint. - That sucks.

Ça me soûle. or Ça me gonfle. - That pisses me off.

Carrément ! - Straight up! or You bet!

C’est de la balle ! - It’s fantastic!

C’est chelou. - It’s weird.

C’est clair ! - You don’t say!

C'est le pied ! - It rocks!

C’est nul. - That sucks.

C’est un truc de ouf ! - That’s crazy stuff!

Crever la dalle - To be starving

Elle/Il se la pète trop ! - She/He thinks she/he’s hot stuff!

Être grillé(e) - To be toast

Être au taquet - To be on fire

Ferme ta gueule ! or Ferme-la ! or Ta gueule ! - Shut the hell up!

Lâche-moi la grappe/les basques/les baskets. - Give me a break.

Laisse tomber ! - Forget it!

Ne pas se louper - Not to screw everything up

Non mais sans déc ! or Sans déconner ! - Cut the crap!

Se prendre une murge - To get wasted

Point barre ! - Period!

Top ! or Nickel ! - Great! or Perfect!

Have you written an article about French slang? Email info@vidalingua.com to let us know. We might link to it!

Want to learn to speak French like a native? Check out these great articles.
Funny French Idioms Explained in English
French Canadian Words and Expressions
How to Read Body Language from Around the World

Looking for lessons with interactive exercises to practice speaking and comprehension? Download Learn French + for free on your iPhone or iPad.

À plus dans le bus ! (See you later alligator!)

Christine Ducos-Restagno
Lead French Linguist

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