Le langage jeune partie 2

tumblr_mbheeilG7K1rfpgiio1_500 Having been working in an office with young Frenchies for nearly two months now, I have accumulated even more slang.  So I thought I’d give you a second edition of what I’ve picked up.  Such a shame there is no French slang module at Warwick next year, think I would get top marks! Back to Proust, Sartre and the subjunctive next year unfortunately…

Louche : To describe something/someone that’s rather shady or fishy.

Chelou : Like louche, something is a bit dodgy…

‘Il est chelou ce mec!’ is something I’ve heard quite a bit!

Relou : Verlan for lourd to describe something irritating or frustrating.  ‘Relou’ is often used to describe RER delays, getting stuck in the metro or strikes.

Beauf: My workmates continually used this when talking about reality TV shows here equivalent to Gordy Shore or Made in Chelsea – here its Les Marseillais.  Explaining to me exactly what this meant took up nearly the whole lunch break after a heated discussion between my three workmates – we even looked up its origin on Wikipedia!  Originating as an abbreviation of beau-frère, the term is used to describe someone with vulgar taste and, well, a bit ‘simple’ to put it.  There was a fierce debate between whether this describes country bumpkins or whether a beauf can also be an urban dweller.  Basically, I would say it means someone who is trashy (chav is the best word I can think of for Londoners) who has bad fashion sense with a bit too much bling and drinks too much beer.

From my understanding, I would not call anyone this unless I wanted to really offend someone, watch out!  

Éclaté : This can mean a number of things, though when used by Frenchies describing their state during a night out, it generally means that they had one too many…


Le bordel : A mess, chaos

Mélimelo/pêle-mêle : Again to describe that something is a bit of a mess – mish-mash, hotchpotch, jumble

Cheum: Moche = U.G.L.Y!

Une gonzesse : Way of saying girl basically.  Whilst words like ‘chick’ ‘lass’ and ‘bird’ are pretty outdated nowdays, this is the generally vibe…

Une minette : Et voilà, another young term to describe a member of the female population…

Une embrouille : A trouble-maker/dodgy character

La tune : Like le fric mentioned in previous post.  Slang for money, cash.

Beau gosse (BG): A familiar way of saying ‘What a handsome-looking chap!’

‘Quel beau gosse’

Taper: Hit, bang up, give sb a whack

Se taper: To sleep with someone

Who knows, I might have to issue a part three before I leave at this rate!


5 thoughts on “Le langage jeune partie 2

  1. Not all these words belong to the “jeune” language. For instance, “mélimélo” or “bordel” has been used for decades by everyone. It’s quite ridiculous to see how some French intellectuals show a kind of admiration and respect for the “jeune” language whereas the language we use in the small towns and in the country has always been laughed at and ridiculized by those same people. Great article and nice blog by the way 🙂

    1. Thanks! I realise that things like “mélimélo” or “bordel” are not classified as ‘langage jeune’, however I needed a title for the post! For anglophone francophiles words like this are of interest! I do realise there is a bit of a Paris/province tension, I would love to spend a fixed amount of time in another region of France to pick up some non-Parisian ‘langage’!

  2. It’s been great seeing the rest of France and exploring outside of Paris this year. I have been to Dijion, was very nice and a great student town!
    Merci beaucoup, j’espère que je n’oublie pas mon français non plus, mais la meilleure façon de se remettre dans le bain, c’est d’habiter dans le pays!

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