French slang words can be tricky to get the hang of. In fact, it can sound like a different language. Arriving to France without a grasp of the lingo can be confusing, especially if you’ve only ever studied it in school.
While different cities and regions have different slang, there’s a general French slang that’s spoken all across the country. This is the lingo that’s not taught in your language class. Verlan, which is actually the French word à l’envers backwards or “reversed”, is spoken by younger people, inverting words and syllables to make new slang. Argot is regular slang.
Here’s a list of 10 commonly used slang words in France. You’ll be speaking like a local in no time.
10 Common French Slang Words
2. Oklm = Au Calme
If you follow any French people on Instagram, you’ve surely seen #oklm. The phonetic acronym of the phrase au calme was made popular by French rapper Booba in his 2014 single. Basically, it means ‘chill’.
3. Avoir Le Seum = Really Annoyed
This is proper Parisian slang, and basically translates to ‘really pissed off’.
A classic example of verlan! Think:
5. Une Clope = A Cigarette
Hey, it’s France, so chances of someone asking for a smoke is high.
6. Meuf/Reuf/Keuf = Mother/Brother/Police
‘Meuf’ and ‘reuf’ are verlan inverses of femme and frre, and ‘keuf’ is the inverse of the slang word for police – flic. It’s slang inception.
Listen to rapper Rohff:
7. Frais/fraîche = Cool
This is just how English speakers use the word ‘fresh’. Eg. that new jacket is looking fresh!
This is the shortened slang version of s
9. Bosser = To Work
Bosser is a casual version of the verb ‘to work’, travailler.
10. C’est Nul = That Sucks
You can also say c’est nul à chier (it really sucks).