This morning, I was having a cup of coffee with Jana from Berlin. We talked about double meanings in French. How 2 letters can make a verb go from « formal » to « super rude ».
I planned to write an article on this for you. To avoid you the blush of « Oh My God. I said this last week! Didn’t mean to be rude!». And as we laughed, I really felt « at the right time at the right place ». What we share together online, I also share it offline with foreign travellers as well. How cool is that!
As you know, French is full of double-meaning traps. And here are 5 verbs that could be interpreted the wrong way.
Relax. If your friend Olivier knows you don’t speak French fluently, he won’t be offended by your use of “se taper”.
It’s mainly your neighbour, the postman and the headmistress you don’t want to freak out!
Coucher / Se coucher
Se coucher = going to bed.
Il est 23h, je vais me coucher. Bonne nuit.
Coucher = sleep or putting somebody to bed.
Jean a couché ici cette nuit.
Je vais coucher les enfants.
BUT coucher avec = sleep with (familiar)
Louise couche avec Jean.
Louise et Jean couchent ensemble.
Tirer / Tirer sur / Se tirer
Tirer sur = to shoot
Jean tire sur Louise.
Tirer = to pull on
Tirez la porte.
Se tirer = to leave (like Se casser)
Je me tire.
BUT Tirer somebody = have sex with (rude)
Jean tire Louise.
Se taper / Taper
Taper = to hit
Jean tape Louise.
BUT Se taper = have sex with (rude)
Jean se tape Louise.
Se taper also means “to endure”
Louise s’est tapée tous les travaux toute seule.
Faire / Se faire
Faire = do
Louise fait les courses.
But Se faire = have sex with (rude)
Jean se fait Louise.
Oublier / S’oublier
Oublier = To forget
Jean a oublié l’anniversaire de Louise.
But S’oublier = sh*t yourself (literally)
Jean s’est oublié.
Have you ever used one of these double-meaning verbs? Let me know in the comments below how it happened. What did you meant? Have you heard of others? Would you like to know more double-meaning words?