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?