Top 5 Favourite French Expressions (in Slang) by Géraldine

Coucou !

Today’s episode was very funny to write because I had to search into the French I use everyday.
Not necessarly the most elegant one.

But the real French you’ll hear me and millions of others use everyday.

French expressions that don’t exist in dictionnaries and textbooks.
French you’ll hear in the metro, in the street, in cafes.

The French expressions that will make French eyebrows raise when you use them.
Trust me. ????

Today, I’ll give you the inside track on 5 of my favourite colloquial French expressions.

Click to watch « My 5 favourite French expressions (in slang) »:

Et toi ?
Have you heard of these expressions? Which one is your favourite?
Let me know ONE French expression that still remains a mystery to you.

Share them below so we can all enjoy your story and help you unravel the mystery.

Bisous,

Géraldine

Join the conversation!

  • My niece in France (She’s 6 years old) constantly says to me phrases when we speak on the phone thar are strange to me like Ooopla, tonton, la vache, pas grave and decu, I understand in some way these phrases but don’t know what exactly mean each and one of them… help

  • Just a little suggestion: since you know what you’re saying, your brain will of course hear your words clearly. But the listener? with even just a bit of room echo it becomes difficult. So the tech tip is to have the mic as close to your as possible. More voice / less echo.

    • Bonjour Richard! I actually just learned this in a class of mine! It just means the person is a rookie, from the verb bleuillir(I think this is the correct spelling) which means to haze. And I’m assuming ‘rat’ is just a French term for people in the Navy? In the states we use it to reference a snitch or tattletale. I hope this helped!

  • Everything is right in this video and I’m “explosé” or “mort de rire” rien qu’à penser à toutes nos expressions. Great work Geraldine, continue it 🙂

  • Bonjour,
    I’m trying to find meaning of “bisou(s) sur ta fesse gauche/droite” in the colloquial sense, bien sûr – would appreciate some “lumière” ????

      • Hello ! I’m french so it’s “lumière” time. It’s definitely a sentence you can say when you know intimately the person in front of you. Don’t say it to someone you don’t know or it may cause some problem like… a slap in your face or a police call.

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  • Souvent on découvre malheureusement le bricolage en plomberie par une fuite, un problème d’évacuation bouchée ou un mécanisme de chasse défectueux… Ce sont en généralement des interventions urgentes ce qui donnent envie, si on n’est pas du tout bricoleuse ou bricoleur, avec un peu d’outillage et de pièces détachées, de faire appel à une société de dépannage ou un artisan. Comme nous vous le rappelons dans le forum Litiges Travaux il est impératif de faire réaliser un devis écrit mentionnant le prix de l’intégralité de l’intervention avant que l’entreprise ne réalise la réparation ou les travaux nécessaires. Même si vous vous trouvez en situation d’urgence, prenez quand même le temps de demander plusieurs devis. C’est pour cela que fait appel à
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  • TROP is indeed now very extremely used but this is also very wrong. Avoid it as much as you can whether it is an adjective or an adverb and I think you should stick to your english instead:

    This girl is very pretty
    Cette fille est très belle
    “This girl is Too much pretty for cette fille est trop belle”
    Je vais très bien: I m very well
    “I m too good for I m too much good’
    TROP should be used only for depreciation such as in:
    Il fait trop froid pour un bébé
    It s too cold for a baby there
    En espérant avoir aidé!
    It’s too

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  • J’aime beaucoup cette phrases. Merci! Question: what do you say after “Ca roule ma poule?” You say “It means …” Sorry, can’t make out what you say. Thanks!

    • She says “Okay, chick.” ‘Poule’ means ‘hen’ in French. What sounds oddly dated in some English-speaking countries is still slang in others. In the US, we don’t think of ‘chick’ as a current term of endearment, whereas in parts of the UK and Australia you still hear ‘chook’ (chick) used frequently to say ‘honey’ or ‘darlin”. (Forgive me, I’m from the Southern US, so those two sound natural to me – meaning it’s a friendly way for me to greet someone, ‘Hey darlin’!’) When translated into US English, “Ça roule, ma poule” sounds to me like 70’s ‘Jive’ – the kind of phrase that Snoop Dogg could pull off, while the rest of us would sound like idiots impersonating a character in ‘Shaft’. (Or from the famous scene in “Airplane!”) I don’t know if it sounds dated in French, or just cheeky.

      • Bonjour Claire,

        “Ma poule” ou “poulette” is outdated, and mostly only as a joke in this kind of expression. 🙂

  • Bonjour Geraldine,

    Un question qui me tourmente depuis longtemps: Si on remplace “nous” avec “on,” qu’est-ce qu’on fait avec “notre/nos”? Par exemple: Est-ce que “Nous allons rencontrer nos amis plus tard” devient “On va rencontrer ses amis plus tard?” ou est-ce que ça reste “On va rencontrer nos amis plus tard?”

    Merci d’avance!!!

    • Bonjour Jobi,
      Excellente question !

      On utilise on + nos/notre.
      Ici, ce serait “On va retrouver nos amis au restaurant, ce soir.”

  • Alors! ils sont très amusants, ces postes. Si rafraîchissant d’apprendre de nouvelles façons! Merci Geraldine.
    Et, de plus, j’ai lu quelque part récemment qu’il y a un espace avant un point d’exclamation en français écrit. Est-ce que vrai aussi pour les points d’interrogation?

  • I have been living in France for about 9 months and am conversational in French – a miracle since I didn’t speak a word of it before arriving – but there are a few sayings that not one french person can explain to me how to use! Maybe with your expertise you can explain how and when to use “comme meme”….??

    • Bonjour Nicki,

      We don’t use “comme meme”, it’s “quand même”. 🙂
      It’s very difficult to use, so don’t worry if you can’t.
      We use to say “this can’t possibly happen”, in a way…
      “On ne va pas partir sans payer, quand même.” for example.

  • Salut Géraldine
    J’aime bien ton blog et les videos!!
    J’entends suivant les trois expressions que je ne suis pas sûre de la signification ni la façon d’utiliser. Sont-elles:
    1- T’en pie
    2- C’est n’import quoi
    3- ça m’emmerde (ça semble un peu forte cette là… )
    Tu peux clarifier l’utilisation de ces expressions??!
    Merci!!

    • Bonjour Milena,

      1- Tant pis = doesn’t matter
      2- C’est n’importe quoi = it’s nonesense
      3- ça m’emmerde = I don’t like it/don’t want to do it.

      🙂

  • …. And the word ” Loulous” I hear a lot. Does this mean boyfriend/girlfriend or can it apply to just friends? Is there an English equivalent? Merci 🙂

    • Bonjour Rachel,
      It’s an affectionate word, used differently according to who’s using it.
      it can be to talk about a boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, children…

  • C’est trop amusantes, led expressions que tu as choissit ici. Je les avais entendu, (souvent des mon neveues et niece francaise) mais ne utilize jamais, sauf merde! Merci!

  • At the end of a meal or a course, most servers simply said “Il y a?” to mean “Have you terminated/Can I remove your plates”. Is this correct? What is implied to make sense of this?

    • Bonjour Richard,

      I never heard that… Do you have any other ideas of what they could have said? 🙂

      • Servers have to say “Il y aura autre chose ?” or “Ce sera tout ?”. It’s a way to be polite, so when a server don’t say that, he’s maybe not polite or angry.

  • I heard the expression “un couche de finition” and I know that literally means a “finishing coat” (like when painting) … but could it also refer to a finishing lie down at the end of a big night out (because couch is bed) or even a finishing off drink like “one for the road” ??? And is it common ??? Thanks 🙂

    • Bonjour Rachel,
      Yes, I can imagine that “une couche de finition” exists for paint and such works.
      For the rest, I never heard of it. 🙂

    • You are right, but be carefull when you use it because it can be misinterpreted. But it’s common now.

  • on utilise ces mots dans notre vie quotidienne XD 😀 ..j’utilise toujours ‘c’est bon ‘, ‘ça marche ‘,”ça roule ‘,’ tranquille’ ,..

  • Back in the early 70’s, the ‘in’ expression was everything to do with ‘vaches!’ Oh, la vache! , etc. It was also a rather modern thing to say ‘c’est chouette!’ But, I am dating myself……….they are passe now, I am sure!

  • Salut! Tu dis que “avoir un coup dans le nez” veut dire “saoul”. J’ai aussi entendu “rond comme un coup de pelle” (je ne sais pas si cela est bien ecrit). Est-ce que ca veut dire la meme chose?

  • Bonjour, Geraldine

    Juste un petit mot, l’expression “ça roule” dans la Suisse-Romande est réservée strictement aux ados. Les adultes utilisent encore “ça marche”. La langue français parlait en Suisse n’est pas exactement la même comme en France. Par exemple, ici, on adore “volontier” et tous les serveurs disent “service!”

    • Bonjour Riki,

      Génial ! Merci de l’info. 😀
      J’adorerais faire des épisodes sur les français dans les régions et pays francophones.

    • Bonjour Mary,

      La classe à Dallas, ça veut pas dire grand chose. Un peu comme “A plus dans le bus”.
      La classe = élégant.
      “A Dallas” est juste là pour que ça rime.

  • Le Président Sarkozy etait fâché avec un homne dans la rue, et le Président lui a dit: ta gueule ! Shut your gob !

  • J’adore cette video! Ca serait amusant aussi de faire un cours sur les expressions bien beauf qui font rire tout le monde, genre “J’y gigot d’agneau”; “la classe a dallas” lol qu’en penses-tu?

  • Your little video was SO well presented and explained. I teach old people here who will love these “slang” exptressions.
    Merci beaucoup Madame!

  • How nice to finally understand all those expressions. Thank you so much for that. I have 1 question: somebody said to me several times) ‘tu es terrible’. I know he means it in a very positive way but I don’t really get it what he means. Can you help me out?

    • Hi Suzanne,
      “Terrible” has a double meaning.
      It is a positive word in slang. It stands for “terrific” in French.
      But also a bad one. “C’est une terrible nouvelle” = It’s bad news.
      It depends on the context.
      I assume here, he (she) meant “you are awesome/terrific”. 😀
      More here: http://www.wordreference.co

  • Cette site envoie du pâté! I really enjoy the insider tips! This one especially- I lived in the South of France as a teenage foreign exchange student and learned all sorts of argot that I still use today at work. When you can sling slang, you’ll have the listener’s attention. C’est trop bien!

  • I was sitting outside a lovely bistro in my village of Marseillan when my friend said “c’est le pied”. I understood that was a compliment, is that correct?

  • Il y a une expression pour dire que tu aimes trop quelque chose…
    Ça me c—-… je vous assure qu’elle m’est completement sorti de la tête! Est-ce que vous pouvez m’aider SVP?? Merci bien 🙂

  • When someone compliments my French, I like to show my modesty, so my response is: Merci, mais je comprends avec un Métro du retard.

  • Oh my … this video got tons of comments. It took me forever to scroll through them. Now I have more questions.
    1. Regarding ‘Laisse tomber’ and Oublie’, are they flippant for ‘forget it/never mind’ or polite? If the cashier is giving you change, but it’s only pennies, would you use these terms? Or is this what your teenager would say to you if they didn’t want to hear what you had to say?
    2. Same with n’importe quoi.
    3. How would one use ‘faire chou blanc’?

    thanks

    • Bonjour Diana,

      Great questions!
      1. Yes, it’s more teenager speech. For the cashier situation, use “C’est bon”. It’s the same you’d use when you give a taxi 25€ instead of 23€ and want to give him the remaining 2. See what I mean?
      2. Yes, same.
      3. “Faire chou blanc” is elegant, a little bit formal. It means “to fail”.
      For example: “J’ai cherché mon téléphone toute la matinée mais j’ai fait chou blanc.”
      “- Marc a réussi réussi son concours ?
      – Non, il a fait chou blanc.”

      • So, with regard to “fait chou blanc”, is the conjugation:
        J’ai fais chou blanc? (my thinking) or
        Je l’ai fait chou blanc. (Google translate) or
        neither?

        • Faire chou blanc : you just conjugate faire (and add “chou blanc”).
          Il fait chou blanc / Il fera chou blanc / Il a fait chou blanc / Il faisait chou blanc…
          Easy!

  • How would you say, “true” in a slang term? Let’s say someone is describing something, and you respond back with, “true.” My friend told me once as “se pa fo” but I’m not familiar with the spelling.

  • Someone told me his little dog was his “meilleur pot” (?)
    I assumed he meant his best loyal friend…

  • Bon, ben c’est pas tout, mais j’vais aller mettre la viande dans l’torchon… (je vais aller me coucher)
    Et puis… Faut pas prendre des vessies pour des lanternes (être crédule, naïf-be naive) ni mélanger les torchons et les serviettes (mix apples and oranges)!

  • Bonjour Geraldine et à tous.

    I have been a student of French for a long time and spend my summers here, where I am now, and I find the language is always changing and evolving, as it should. Loved this video about expressions. I’ve heard a few of these before, but not all. Especially love Ca envoie du paté. It’s awesome. Something we anglophones say all the time! I have a question about a few of these you used and a few to add that i’ve heard recently using the verb filer. I carry a notebook with me when in France and write them down when I hear them. Alors…
    When you say Ca roule ma poule, would that only be to a woman? Or could you use it as a general expression to anyone, and it’s just because it rhymes that you use ma poule?

    When you say, sans déc is it in the sense of suprise as we would say in English for example if someone said, “They are giving away free iPhones at the Apple store.” “No kidding?!” Or is it in the sense of confirmation as in “The professor was such a jerk to the entire class today.” “No Kidding.” That’s how we’d use it to confirm something.

    A couple of expressions I”ve heard in my last week in France have to do with the verb Filer, which is very useful.

    Filer à l’anglaise. to sneak away? Though I don’t really understand the context. But though it was funny .

    Ca me file la gerbe: makes me want to throw up.

    Not very appealing but useful in certain contexts, non? Such as politics. ;>)

    Alors, bonne journée et merci Geraldine.

    Bizzzzzzzzzzz

    • Bonjour Kimberley.

      Ca roule ma poule : men or women. It’s just for the rhyme.
      Sans dec: both. Exactly the same as in English.
      Filer à l’anglaise : leave discreatly without saying goodbye or anyone seeing.

      Great job Kimberley!

  • Hello!
    I’m 13 and I’m typically french person, I live in belgium but I learn English at school in English immersion (all of my courses excepted math and,of course, French, are in english) so, I’ve got a good level. I love read manga and comics, and I’ve an app where there’s in English, but there’s an expression that I can’t understand, what “all of a sudden” does mean?
    Thanks for tour help guys!
    I want to tell you too that certainly of your translations french to English are false or not totally right, for example, “être chaud” means ’’be in heat’’, not just ’’be motivated ’’, in fact, yes, it’s be motivated but to go do something on the bed, lol.
    Also, the word “sinon” is used to say if the first idea will not be realise, we can do the second . For example in french we can say “je cuisinerai des pâtes SI j’en ai, SINON, j’irai acheter des pizzas.”
    So, The “sinon” means that’s the second possibility, and the first is always started by a “si” . That’s never at the present time, cause it’s “options that we will can do”
    In reality, it’s not too much far from the “if” of English; if I translate my example that’s : “If (=si) I’ve some pastas,I will cook it but if I don’t have (=sinon) , I will go to buy pizzas.
    That’s all, very simple in fact,no? ~~
    another thing too, for mariel, “salut” means hi and goodbye, so, if somebody tell you at the end of a journey ’’salut,cetait cool’’ that’s means that he liked the thing that he have done with u and tell you goodbye. 😉
    Dear Geraldine, I like your blog, and that’s a really funny idea to do that. 😉
    My personal favourites french expressions are:
    *Mdr -mort De Rire- (=death of laught ) we use that more than “lol” on Internet, that’s like “xD”
    *minute papillon, – that’s what we say when somebody is too much speed and don’t wait that you’ve finished you’re work before ask you something, when we tell that, we compare this people with a butterfly who want to go on the next flower ans also the next without enjoy a little bit what he already have, I think that’s cute to compare a people with a butterfly. :3
    That’s all,
    Kiss,
    Charlotte. ;*

    • Salut,

      “All of a sudden” = Entirely without warning, abruptly, very quickly. It is the standard idiom, but you may here “all of the sudden” in different regions of the English speaking world as “a sudden” & “the sudden” have been around since the 1500s.

      Cheers!
      Kim

    • Bonjour Paul,

      Cette expression est très jolie mais presque jamais utilisée en France… Désolée !

      • Chère Géraldine je me permets une petite remarque :
        Le français ne se résume pas à l’oral et certaines expression sont couramment employées à l’écrit (même contemporain). “à bon chat bon rat” est toujours utile à connaitre. explication : un combat est juste quand les adversaires sont de forces équivalentes.

  • J’aime l’expression: <> Je suis américain, mais j’enseigne le français au lycée. Mes élèves disent <> tous les temps. Ils s’amusent comme ça…

    It means good cat, good rat. But in what kinds of situations would it be used in French?

    Merci!

    Paul

  • We listen to podcasts to help us learn french, and we keep hearing the word ‘sinon’ being used when people want to change from one subject to another. It doesn’t seem to mean ‘otherwise’ or ‘if not’, it seems (in context) to mean ‘OK, let’s move on’ or ‘Anyway, to change the subject..’. We can’t find it in any dictionary, and even french people we’ve asked don’t know the answer. Can you help please?

  • Bonjour Géraldine! Je suis nouvelle ici, mais j’adore votre site!

    J’ai une questions si on utilisé la phrase “Belle affaire!”

    Merci,

    Katya

  • I wanna know the meaning of “salut c’est cool”, is a french band name but I found the expression in many blogs. Can anyone help me? I usually speak spanish and I know a little of french.

  • I Love the slang expression Sans dec no kidding.
    There is an expression for someone who is a little mad but I cannot remember it, can you help.

  • Salut! Merci beaucoup pour le vidéo. J’ai une question. Quand je visite un magasin français si je dis ‘salut’ au lieu de ‘Bonjour’ est-ce que ça marche? Ou est-ce que c’est impoli?

  • Merci beaucoup pour tous tes videos Geraldine! E’est la premiere fois que j’ecris ici mais je veux dire que j’apprende beaucoup avec ton site. Merci!

  • T’es super. Tu m’as deja appris qch. J’ai etudie le fc toute ma vie, mais il semble qu’il y a toujours un petit trou qu’il faut reparer. (find me an expression for that). Et – by the by – ton accent en anglais est super cool et chic. A la prochaine. Bises.

    Amadis

    • Ah, oui, c’est vraiment mignon cette expression. J’aime aussi “petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid” (meaning “every little bit helps” or something to that effect). J’aime bien l’image d’une petit oiseau, fier de son nid! 😀

  • Please translate into English
    “je domne le Ton
    I am in Paris foe Christmas and I purchased an artist pouch with this on it!
    Merci!

  • Is it incorrect to say “C’est si bon”? I thought this means very good, however I had a funny look from my waiter when I said this in France.

    • Bonjour Ann,
      It is not incorrect but no one would say it. It’s half a cliché, half a bad direct translation of the “It’s so good” in English.
      Try “C’est très bon” or “C’est délicieux” or “C’est excellent”.
      In case you wish to try a more familiar/slang French, use “C’est trop bon”

  • On my first day teaching English in Evreux, I spent a couple of minutes introducing myself and talking about my life in the US. I made the atrocious mistake of telling students at the collège level that I had two cats. As both of my cats were females, I said, “J’ai deux chattes.” Students reacted with gasps and giggles and NO ONE would explain what I said that was worthy of their reaction. I remembered the phrase and avoided it thereafter, but I had to ask someone and was quite horrified at what I learned.

  • Merci beaucoup pour cette video ! 😀 J’ai aurais cherche pour lec videos comme ca ,pars ce que ils m’aident parler conversations plus amicable!! Ca envoi du pate!!

  • Salut Geraldine,
    J’ai une amie qui a écrit une livre de vielles expressions françaises <> (ISBN 979-10-93076-00-3). Mon expression favorite dans cette livre est <>. Se dit d’une personne très économe qui économise en particulier sur les achats alimentaires et en cuisine. Mais, après avoir vu votre vidéo je veux dire quand-même ça roule ma poule au boucher quand je ferrai les courses.
    Merci et à bientôt
    James

  • Chére Geraldine,
    félicitacions pour tes émissions !! Ils sont génial !! Cest exactement ca, qu´avait manqué. Cést fantastique pour les payies de l´ Éurope de l ´est , d´ou ils est expectée des gens a parler des langues des l´Europe occidentales, mais cest tres difficile par ce que les gens ne savent pas comment entammer.
    Avec les sentiments les plus distinguée
    Zoltan Paul Jeney

  • J’ai bien tes vidéos! Elles sont très simples et practiques avec une bonne quantité de bon vocabulaire dans chacune. Les expressions d’argot sont géniales. J’aime trop “ca roule ma poule”! Maintenant il faut simplement que je trouve un moyen de les retenir tous…!

    Une ‘tite chose en ce qui concerne l’anglais…le verbe c’est “put something into practice” donc je pense que ce n’est pas faux de dire “put into practice what you’ve learned” mais c’est mieux de dire “put what you’ve learned…into practice”. Ca aurait l’air beaucoup plus naturel (à mon avis en tout cas mais j’ai peut-etre tort!)

    Bonne continuation!

  • Bonjour!
    Ici dans le sud on ne dit pas ‘ca roule’… On dit ‘tout baigne dans l’huile’. L’huile d’olive bien sûr!

  • Pourriez-vous expliquer “Je suis une patate quasi-Parisienne” et “Lachez vous”
    These are the beginning and end of an online bio I just found. Are they slang or typos? Merçi!

  • I knew: ca roule, trop bien, tranquille. I also have heard: Tomber dans les pommes, un coup bar (barre?), Il etait lourde hier soir, J’etait larguer , vous etes juste trops chaud, le mec est un fleur bleue,…. that’s all I can remember at the moment!

    • Super, Jennifer!

      Oui, on dit :
      Tomber dans les pommes (to faint)
      Un coup de barre (feel tired all of a sudden)
      Etre lourd (To be a bore)
      Etre largué (To be a bit at see)
      Etre chaud (To be motivated)
      Etre fleur bleue (be sentimental)

  • Quand j’étais au Québec, j’ai entendu trop « voyons » qui veut dire « oh come on! » ou « really??? » anglais. Est-ce qu’on dit ça en France?
    De plus, j’ai de la misère à utiliser le mot « ailleurs » en contexte…est-ce que tu as des suggestions ? Je dis « ailleurs » ou « d’ailleurs » quand je veux dire « also » ou « by the way » quand les deux choses n’ont aucun rapport. Est-ce que ça roule ? 😉

    • Bonjour Krysta,

      Oui, “Voyons” est utilisé.

      C’est très simple. “Ailleurs” means “somewhere else” and “D’ailleurs” means “by the way”.

      Ça roule !

  • Géraldine: Merci beaucoup pour la vidéo, c’était impecc! Est-ce qu’on se sert toujours du verlan?

    Fana de Renaud,

    A plus,
    Cynthia

  • Hi Geraldine

    Is it wrong to use the word quoi after a sentence? I noticed you used it above, jokingly, I hear it a lot, even on the radio but a French friend says she doesn’t know anyone who uses it, as if it was not quite nice to say it ! Is it slang ?

    • I am by no means an expert, but I recall reading some books by Marcel Pagnol (Fanny, Marius), and “quoi” appeared after many sentences or phrases. I think it’s a manner of speaking, to just add it at the end, quoi. It doesn’t really have a true meaning. I think, too, it might be considered “less polished” or less elegant French–colloquial maybe. Just like in the US, people sometimes add “you know?” at the end of a sentence. They don’t really want to know if “you know”… it’s just there. I heard “quoi” a lot when I was staying in Marseille. I think it is also something more regional. I await Geraldine’s confirmation….or critique!

      JB

      • Hi

        Thankyou for that. Yes, I realised it was something like ‘you know’ but I would love to be able to incorporate it into my speech, to sound more fluent, but I just wondered whether it was considered ‘common’ or something !

        • My advice on this would be to listen carefully how it’s used on the radio, TV and around you. And then try to copy.
          It’s sounds rough but this is how I do to incorporate new expressions to my English.
          Let me know how it works for you as I’m VERY interested in this.

    • Bonjour Yvonne,

      It’s popular. Not vulgar.
      If overused, it tends to be annoying. Just like ” You know” in English. 🙂

  • I liked these five expressions, but there is one which I liked most.
    I would like to know more about “trop” which means more than très. Can I use it for the first singular person: je.
    I am looking forward to knowing more about that.
    Thanks for the tips which I have been appreciating a lot.
    Merci.

    • Bonjour Soraya,

      For example, instead of “Cette musique est très bien” we say “Cette musique est trop bien”.

  • The expression that confused me when I first came was
    “C’est pas terrible”
    which sounds like it means something was not terrible…. but in fact, usually seems to mean that it was really bad.
    “T’as vu le film?”
    “Oui, mais c’était pas terrible…”
    Confused?!!!

  • coucou! i totally love this video! its amazing…but can you tell me what ca roule ma poule means? you said it very fast and i couldn’t understand 😀

  • Hello Geraldine,
    Please can you tell me what “ca roule ma poule” means. I couldn’t hear what you said on the video. Thank you.

  • Since it’s been over 20 years since I’ve been to France, I’m not sure they still say, “o.k., d’ac”, but it was my favourite.

  • Really enjoy your “clips,” Géraldine. I speak French well but “street French” is the hardest to learn. I like the expression “c’est nickel,” like “c’est top” or “impec.”

  • Tu est trop mignonne! “Trop” me plait beaucoup. Les francais utilisent “trop” comme les americains utilisent “too.” Par exemple, you are too cute!

  • when i lived in paris, i used “dis donc!!” on an old gent who was mildly but continuously bothering me in the park as i was reading…he laughed & moved on…….it’s antique, but he got it!

  • Three of my favorites are:
    Tu parles! (No kidding)
    C’est limite. (I have a hard time translating this into English because it depends on the context. )
    C’est pas évident (It’s tricky)

  • Merci Geraldine. Es ce qu’il y a une emission a la tele, comme ‘a soap opera’ en anglais, laquelle serait bien pour ecouter et apprendre les phrases comme ça?

    • Bonjour Mark,
      Oh oui, plein ! Je te conseille de jeter un oeil à “Fais pas ci Fais pas ça”, “Le Petit Journal” et “Kaamelott” à la télé. Et sur internet “Golden Moustache”, “Norman fait des vidéos” et “PV Nova”.

      • Je kiffe trooop les videos “Golden Moustache” et “Norman fait des vidéos.” Les videos de Cyprien sur YouTube sont marrant aussi.

  • Merci! I learned trop from some little kids when I was living in France — we were eating melon with prosciutto wrapped around it and they kept saying “C’est trop bon!” I use it all the time now. I love your website! Merci beaucoup!

  • I often say

    “Je parle le Francais comme une vache Espagnole”

    The French are perverse as saying this makes them think I speak Fench WELL.

    • Yes Ana,
      We say “Ça coûte la peau des fesses” : literally “it costs the skin of your bottom” – It’s very expensive.
      And “Ça coûte un bras” is (a little) more elegant.
      But “Ça coûte la peau du cul” is worse. 😉

  • I may be backing things up, but when do you end a meeting/phrase with “Allez”? Is that young or something to use with people of all ages? And a phrase I love for the sound and the ubiquity of it is: ah bah oui, which comes out in one long “word”.

    • “Allez” means “come on”. It can be used by people of all ages.
      For example: “Allez, Maman, s’il te plaît” to beg.

      Ahah, you can also use “Ah bah oui mais bon” said in one “word”.

      • But don’t you also use “allez” as sort of a sign-off, as in au revoir?
        Merci! Il faut dire que je trouve vos films beaucoup plus efficaces – and more entertaining! – que mes livres!

        • Hi Harriet,
          Some people I know say “allez” right before saying goodbye to someone they know on the phone – they come to the end of the conversation and say something like, “Bon, allez, je te laisse. Bise! Ciao.” Is that what you’re thinking of?

  • Il y a une phrase que j’utilise quand je rencontre quelqu’un pour la première fois:

    Excusez-moi mais je parle français comme une vache espagnole

  • On n’est pas encore sortit de l’auberge – our problems have only just begun
    Il est con comme un balai – he’s as daft as a brush
    Tu te fous de ma gueule ? – are you taking the piss ?

  • I think I offended someone when I repeated to him what I thought was a compliment / comment about them from a third party; this guy was called ‘une vedette’ . In english it would mean they were great at getting things sorted for you, but I think not the case in french!

    • Bonjour Susie !
      “Une vedette” means “A star” (Une vedette de cinéma). But it is not very used anymore.
      Not sure there’s any offense in telling someone they’re “a vedette”. 🙂

      • hi, i’m french, so please be kind with my english ;). when you told the guy he was a vedette, you probably offended him because it can be used in a way to laugh at someone that is very heavy and has a too much of self esteem. vedette can be used also for has been stars.

  • Coucou

    Merci beaucoup Geraldine. Cettes phrases sont très utiles.
    Je vis en France depuis 9 mois et Il y a une expression ce qui me trouble trop et ce que j’entends le plus beaucoup.
    C’est <>!!
    Pourriez-vous m’expliquer de quels sens on utilise cette expression?
    (Every time I hear this expression, it has different meanings such as anyway, but, all the same, …. but I still don’t quite understand quand même lol)

    Merci beaucoup

    • Hi Paul,
      Je ne sais pas si le logiciel a supprimé ton texte, où si tu l’as fait exprès pour indiquer les mais je ne vois pas de quoi il s’agit. Quelle expression entends-tu le plus souvent? Si c’est une expression un peu vulgaire, peut-être que tu peux mettre un symbole au mileu, ou une * pour une des lettres (tout ça si c’est le logiciel qui a supprimé le texte)? Sinon, veux-tu dire “parentheses?” Je suis perplexe!! (Je suis une personne qui veut tout savoir, heh heh)

      Merci,
      JB

      • Hi!

        Seems that my French needed to be improved a lot.

        The expression that I heard every single day in France is “quand même” where I find its meaning changes every time I hear it. It can be “anyway, all the same, though, etc…” But I still do not fully understand all the usages.

        Thank you

        Paul

        • Bonjour Paul,

          Yes you are right… Unfortunately.
          “Quand même” as lots of different meanings depending on the context. The wonderful website WordReference has referenced a lot of meanings here: http://www.wordreference.co… This should help!

  • Bonjour,
    Sans déconner c’était trop bien! I know of all of these expressions now it is really interesting and you certainly get the French people looking very pleased that we have understood. Merci encore Géraldine j’apprends toujours.

  • Les expressions sont trop utiles! ‘Sans déc’ me plaît beaucoup.
    ‘Quoi’ à la fin d’une phrase me rend perplexe.

    Opal

          • ça dépend, dans le nord de la France, ça peut avoir une signification. Si tu organises quelque chose avec quelqu’un mais qu’il faut vérifier certaines choses et qu’il te dit “Je te rappelle et je te dis quoi”, c’est qu’il te dira les informations manquantes à votre conversation.

          • Oui !!! Je ne connaissais pas cette expression il y a quelques années et j’ai été surprise quand quelqu’un l’a utilisé au téléphone. 🙂

          • This is exactly what I have been looking for, the explanation of the word Quoi when used at the end of a sentence. When I was in the univ and learning French I worked at an Alliance Francaise and the boss at the time was a grumpy man who seemed to end a lot of his sentences with that word. Coincidentally, in my native language, when a sentence is ended like that, the speaker is usually upset about something (more ‘angry’ than ‘sad’ kind of upset). While he did not direct that to me, whenever he started to go around talking like that, I hid behind my desk.

          • et est-ce que vous dites ‘…….. ou quoi?’ en francisais comme en anglais ‘……. or what?’

            i.e.
            ‘Why do you asking me to check it out? Is it something really interesting or what?’
            — the ”or what” in the end of the sentence

  • I always love learning slang, I think it helps a lot when speaking with the french to know expressions like this. It’s not that I need to use it myself but more to understand what the other person is saying.

  • I like ‘laisse tomber la neige’ (let the snow fall) or just ‘laisse tomber’. It’s used to say let it be, let it happen, in the sense of let’s not worry about it.

    • I remember there being a very popular song in France when I lived there called “Laisse tomber”! Was a great party song!!

    • Yes Jo. We use “Laisse tomber” or even “Oublie” (forget about it). In the 90, the singer Renaud wrote a song called “Laisse béton” (béton = tomber) but this expression is not very used at the moment.

    • Ah, ça roule ma poule! Trop bon et trop cool! Merci pour tes avis – ça va m’aider ici au Canada enseigner le français langue seconde!

      • ça roule ma poule is not used at all in french Canada. Il is like using British expressions with speaking to an American he won’t understand a thing.

          • I know but funny how Quebecers do understands the French people but not the other way around! We call this “paresseux” Lazy !

        • Not quite sure if it is lazyness. E.g. some 7 millions Canadians speak French, compared to some 67 millions of French. Among French speakers the Canadians are a minority.

          Besides, I’m not French but I watched many French movies in French but have seen perhaps just two movies in Quebecois. Not exactly a large base to learn some slang. So maybe you should do something about it and make more and better movies, which would eventually land in Europe. Canadian cinematography is quite unknown (unheard of) here in Europe.

          Same thing with music. Lately you hear Cœur de pirate few times a year and that’s it.

          Your fault you don’t make yourself known. We actually find Canadian accent quite nice so don’t be shy and start sending stuff.

          • Many movies and singers and songs are made in Quebec do some research and you will have months on your computers to watch and listen. It’s like many countries only the one with the marketing goes beyond the original country!

            And remember like you are saying 7 millions speak French in America where it’s surrounded by English so it’s not that bad when you think that in 1608 when Quebec was establish there were less than 100 persons from France!

            But like I said it’s all about marketing for singers and movies but there are a lot out there!

            But in general French are lazy to understand Quebecers if you take their accent now they suddenly understand!

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