Real insight on French culture from a French native point of view.
Mostly run by Em, 26, living in Paris.
Welcome to AwesomeFrench !
Liberté, Egalité, Croque au Comté
Se bouger les fesses
"To move your butt"
To hurry up

"Bouge-toi les fesses, le film va commencer !"
"Hurry up, the movie is about to start!"
Je suis cassé(e)
"I’m broken"
I’m very tired. 
Etre bête comme ses pieds.

"To be stupid like one’s feet.
To be extremely stupid.

"Pas la peine de lui demander de t’aider pour ton exercice de maths, il ne saura pas, il est bête comme ses pieds."
“Don’t bother asking him to help you with your maths exercise, he won’t know, he’s way too stupid for that.”

So my French teacher talked to us about le verlans and I thought it was pretty strange and interesting, and I wondered what your thoughts on it were. Do you use it?

Yeah, verlan (pronouncing syllables backwards, like “meuf” for “femme” for those who don’t know) is very common, all young use it. It’s strange from a foreign point of view, but for us it’s a normal improvement of slang.
English is much more efficient at creating new words, new combinations… French has a way stricter structure, we can’t really change it too much or we’d risk to actually make the words completely incomprehensible. When we alter the structure, it automatically looks like a mistake, not an improvement, even if it is on a slang level. So we use other techniques to create slang, which are more about playing with words than altering them. We tell syllables backwards, we make them rhyme, we give them new tones by using foreign words or old-fashioned French… To give you rough examples, some very common funny slang use these techniques :

Ci-mer Albert = meaning: Thanks !, Verlan on “Merci” which becomes “Ci-mer” and the use of Albert is only to make a rhyme, it’s an old-fashionned name which doesn’t refer to anyone specifically, so it looks funny.

En avant Jacqueline ! = meaning: Let’s go!, same use of an old-fashionned name for comedy purposes.

What the fuque ? = meaning: wtf, adapted to French pronunciation.

Ce keum est ouf dans sa teu-té ! = meaning: That guy’s crazy!, literal meaning : That dude’s crazy in his head. Verlan on “keum” (from “mec” = dude), on “ouf” (from “fou” = crazy), on “teu-té” (from “tête” = head).

Ne pas calculer quelqu’un.

"Not to calculate someone"
Not to aknowledge someone, to ignore someone.

"Je suis allée à l’avant-première du film. Les acteurs n’ont même pas calculé leurs fans. Ils sont venus pour la séance photo avec les journalistes, et ils sont repartis aussi sec."
I went to the movie’s premiere. Actors didn’t even pay attention to their fans. They came for the photocall with the journalists and left immediately after.

En faire des tonnes

"To make 3 tonnes of it."
To exaggerate, to obviously make a big fuss 

"Il en fait toujours des tonnes avec elle car il veut la séduire." 
He always exaggerates when she’s around because he wants to seduce her.

Also possible : En faire des caisses, en faire trois tonnes. 



Je suis sure que Jennifer Lawrence doit être sacrément bonne au plumard. 
I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence must be friggin’ hot in bed. 

Quésaco ?

From Occitan’s “Qu’es aquò ?” (What is it?)
Slang - What is it, What the hell you’re talking about ?

*Quelqu’un à qui on offre un livre pourri pour Noël* “Quésaco ?”
"C’est de la part de ta soeur."
"Bah forcément, qui d’autre pour m’offrir un truc aussi con."

*Someone getting a lame book for Christmas* “The hell?”
"It’s from your sister."
"Obviously, who else could possibly buy me such a shitty thing."

J’en passe et des meilleurs.
"I pass [some] and better ones."
Used after a listing, to mean there’s many more pertinent examples.
"And so on"

Dialects of the French Language


Dialects of the French Language

Être refait(e)

"To be done all over again"
To be excessively happy, to be amazed.

"J’ai dit à mon crush qu’elle était belle comme une princesse, qu’elle sentait bon et qu’elle était adorable. Elle était refaite, j’te dis même pas. Bon bah du coup, on sort ensemble." 
"I told my crush that she’s as pretty as a princess, that she smells good and that she’s adorable. She was fucking ecstatic, you know what I mean. So hm, now we’re dating."

Faire un caca nerveux

To make a nervous poop. 
To lose your temper, to get unecessarily angry. 

"Ma soeur a fait un caca nerveux quand on lui a dit qu’elle ne pourrait pas sortir Samedi parce que notre grand-mère vient manger à la maison."
My sister lost it when we told her she couldn’t go out Saturday because our grandmother is coming over for dinner.

(Se) la faire à l’envers

To do it reverse (to you)
To get conned, to dupe.

(En comptant de l’argent) Je n’y crois pas, le serveur me l’a fait à l’envers ! Il m’a rendu une pièce de 1€ au lieu d’une de 2€ !
(When counting money) I can’t believe it, the waiter ripped me off! He gave me a 1€ coin instead of 2€!

"Ne me la fais pas à l’envers ! Je sais que tu as passé la nuit chez elle et pas avec tes potes au match de foot comme tu le prétends, alors ne me dis pas que tu ne me caches rien."
"Don’t even try to fool me! I know you spent the night with her and not with your buddies at the soccer game like you’re pretending, so don’t tell me you’re not hiding anything from me."

Un vieux de la vieille

"An old(man) of the old(woman)"

Someone who has a lot of experience.

Clint Eastwood et Woody Allen seront à cet évènement, qui regroupera tous les vieux de la vieille.
Clint Eastwood and Woody Allenwill attend this event, which will bring together all the most important/iconic people (of the movie industry).