When you hear someone speak French, don’t you find it fantastic or like you suddenly transported to France or Spain, right? But in reality, French people don’t literally speak “the” French language they learn in school. Just like any other language, French also have slang (argot) that they use to express just about everything. It can mean friends, money, or everything they do every day. The skill to comprehend and make use of argot that will help you live your life normally and yet give you a different conversation experience.

Understanding Argot

Argot is informal French that is interesting to learn to understand. They may seem to originate from the underworld – so to speak, that made its debut way back the fifteenth century. Criminals back then make use of argot as secret code or technical terms that represent illegal plans and activities. It is also used as a secret language or “jargon” that only people involved understand.

Listed here are the commonly used slang and expressions in French to help you understand and speak like a local. Therefore, if you wanted to treat it as your street-smart dictionary, you can keep them for all-around use and will save you from unexpected situations that you may encounter, especially if you are in a European country.


  • For Money

Blé – Nous dépensons beaucoup de blé pour nos vacances. (We spend a lot of money on our holidays.)

Fric – Je n’ai pas de fric pour m’acheter une voiture. (I don’t have the money to buy a car.)

Flouse – Les voleurs ont pris tout le flouse dans la caisse. (The thieves took all the money from the cash register.)

Oseille – Les étudiants gagnent de l’oseille grâce aux petits boulots d’été. (Students earn money with summer jobs.)

Pèze – File-moi du pèze. (Give me some money.)

Pognon – Je mets mon pognon à la banque. (I put my money in the bank.)

thune or tune – Jacques a perdu beaucoup de thunes au casino. (Jack lost a lot of money at the casino.)

  • For Friend

Pote – Thomas est mon meilleur pote. (Thomas is my best friend.)

Poteau or Poto – Je pars en vacances avec un poteau. (I’m going on vacation with a friend.)

  • For Cool

Chouette – Mon nouveau prof est vraiment chouette. (My new teacher is really cool.)

Cool – Ce groupe de rap est trop cool. (This rap band is so cool.)

Super – Tu viens avec nous ? Super! (You’re coming with us? Cool!)


beu or beuh (weed) – Les jeunes fument de la beuh en cachette. (Young people smoke weed on the sly.)

baba (flabbergasted) – La petite fille danse si bien que j’en reste baba. (The little girl is such a good dancer that I’m flabbergasted.)

tise (alcohol) – Je dois acheter de la tise pour la fête. (I must buy some drinks for the party.)

piaule (small apartment / room) – Claire loue une piaule près de la fac. (Claire rents a small flat near the university.)

se peler (to be cold) – On va se peler si on n’allume pas le chauffage. (We will be cold if we don’t turn the heater on.)

canon (beautiful) – Les mannequins sont souvent canon. (Models are often stunning.)

binouse/binouze (beer) – Allons boire une binouse après le travail. (Let’s go and have a beer after work.)

bouquin (book) – Je lis un bouquin sur la vie de Napoléon. (I’m reading a book about Napoleon’s life.)

frangin (brother) – Sophie a deux ans de moins que son frangin. (Sophie is two years younger than her brother.)

bagnole, caissegamostire (car) – Tu dois amener ta bagnole chez le mécanicien. (You have to take your car to the mechanic.)

gamin(e)gossemarmotmiochemômemoutard (child) – La maîtresse essaie de calmer le gamin turbulent. (The teacher tries to calm the turbulent child.)

clope (cigarette) – Les participants fument une clope pendant la pause. (Attendees smoke a cigarette during the break.)

fringues (clothes) – Je m’achète de nouvelles fringues pour l’été. (I buy myself new clothes for the summer.)

barré(e)cinglé(e)déjanté(e)dingueouftaré(e) (crazy) – Sa réaction démesurée est complètement dingue. (His excessive reaction is totally crazy.)

clébardclebs (dog) – Le clébard aboie quand il voit le facteur. (The dog barks when he sees the postman.)

clampserclamsercrever (to die) – Je vais clamser si je continue à courir! (I’ll die if I keep running!)

toubib (doctor) – Paul va chez le toubib car il a mal à la gorge. (Paul goes to the doctor because his throat aches.)

picoler (to drink alcohol) – Je ne picole jamais avant de conduire. (I never drink before driving.)

bourré(e)charassetorché(e) (drunk) – Tom est bourré tous les samedis soir. (Tom is drunk every Saturday night.)

béqueterbouffergrailler (to eat) – Nous aimons bouffer au restaurant le dimanche. (We like to eat at the restaurant on Sundays.)

mirette (eye) – Sandra a les mêmes mirettes bleues que sa mère. (Sandra has the same blue eyes as her mother.)

bouilletronche (face) – Ses lunettes lui font une drôle de tronche! (He has a funny face with his glasses on!)

chocottesfroussejetonstrouille (fear) – Elle a une trouille incontrôlable des souris. (She has an uncontrollable fear of mice.)

gonzessemeufnana (girl) – Sam est très amoureux de sa nouvelle meuf. (Sam is very in love with his new girl.)

baraquebicoque (house) – Nous emménageons dans notre nouvelle baraque demain! (We are moving into our new house tomorrow!)

garskeummectype (man) – Les mecs jouent au foot dans le jardin. (The men play soccer in the garden.)

blase (name) – Le blase de mon voisin est Dupont. (My neighbor’s name is Dupont.)

zinc (plane) – Le zinc décollera à 10h. (The plane will take off at 10 am.)

flickeufpoulet (policeman) – Le flic lui demande ses papiers d’identité. (The policeman asks him for his ID.)

casse-dalle (sandwich) – Les ouvriers déjeunent avec un casse-dalle. (The workers eat a sandwich for lunch.)

frangine (sister) – Ma frangine et moi échangeons souvent nos vêtements. (My sister and I often swap clothes.)

causerjacter (to talk) – Nous causons de la situation pendant l’apéro. (We talk about the situation while having a drink.)

flotte (water) – Je bois un grand verre de flotte pour me désaltérer. (I drink a big glass of water to quench my thirst.)

pinardpive (wine) – Le Bordeaux est mon pinard préféré. (Bordeaux is my favorite wine.)


Boire un pot/un coup  (To have a drink)

Ça déchire ! (It rocks!)

Carrément ! (Straight up! or You bet!)

C’est de la balle ! (It’s fantastic!)

C’est chelou. (It’s weird.)

Génial ! (Awesome!)

Jamais de la vie. (No way.)

Laisse tomber ! (Forget it!)

Pas de souci. (No problem.)

Top ! or Nickel ! (Great! or Perfect!)


French is a romantic language, but these slang or argot words and phrases can make you learn the language much more manageable. Imagine, even French has their own slang too! The terms indicated above are just some of the essential argo words you can apply in your everyday activities. Profitez de l’apprentissage! (Enjoy learning!)

By Sandy Allain

Polyglot, Blogger, and Internet Marketer. I have worked in the language education industry for many years and I also speak several languages. I can help you choose your best language courses online and much more.