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French Slang: A Guide to the Latest Expressions

The French language is constantly evolving, influenced by a multitude of cultures, whether they are Arab, African, Romani, American, and many others.

Both orally and in writing, new expressions are constantly emerging, especially on social networks, shaping what could be called the “new French”. However, this aspect of the language is not always covered in academic teachings, even though it is becoming the norm in many conversations.

Are you passionate about the French language and eager to fully immerse yourself in the culture of young French speakers? Do you want to impress your French friends with your knowledge of the latest expressions?

Then, this article is for you!

Together, we will discover the trendy expressions that are flourishing on social networks and in everyday conversations. These little words and phrases liven up communication and make you feel really in the loop.

Attention! This article focuses on informal French used by young people. It is not formal language and should not be used in all situations, especially in formal or professional contexts.

Expressing a Negative Opinion

  • C’est relou. “It’s annoying”. To express annoyance at a situation or person, we use the adjective “relou”, a deformation of “c’est lourd” (also “c’est pesant”). Replacing the “annoying” or “bothersome” of yesteryear, it brings a more modern and familiar touch to your vocabulary.
    Example: “C’est relou, le train est encore en retard”.


  • C’est baddant. “It’s depressing”. To describe something negative, depressing, or boring, we use the expression “c’est baddant”, derived from the English “bad”.
    Example: “C’est baddant, j’ai perdu mon portefeuille”.


  • C’est malaisant. “It’s awkward”. To describe an embarrassing or uncomfortable situation, we use the adjective “malaisant”. A term that replaces the “embarrassing” or “awkward” of yesteryear and perfectly translates this feeling of social discomfort, echoing the English “it’s awkward” or “it’s cringe” (some even use “c’est cringe”).
    Example:  “C’était super malaisant quand il a avoué son erreur devant tout le monde”.


  • C’est chelou. “It’s weird”. To describe something weird, strange, or unusual, we use the adjective “chelou”. Replacing the “suspicious” or “weird” of yesteryear, it brings a lighter and more current touch to your descriptions.
    Example: “J’ai trouvé ça chelou, son comportement après la dispute”.


  • C’est tendu. “It’s tense”. This expression is used to describe a complicated, unpleasant, stressful, or conflictual situation. It indicates that the atmosphere is tense and things are not going as planned.
    Example: “J’ai 3 jours de retard sur mon travail, c’est tendu.”


  • C’est claqué. “It’s broken”. To describe something bad, of poor quality, or poorly executed.
    Example: “Sa tenue est complètement claquée”.


  • C’est mort. “It’s dead” To signify that something is impossible or bad, we use the expression “c’est mort”. It indicates a hopeless situation or an unfavorable outcome.
    Example: “J’ai essayé de le contacter, mais c’est mort, son téléphone est éteint”.


Expressing a Positive Opinion

  • C’est carré. “It’s square”. To qualify something as well done, precise, or organized, we use the expression “c’est carré”. It implies that something is perfectly executed or structured.
    Example: “Il nous a invité à dîner, c’était vraiment carré”.


  • C’est frais. “It’s fresh”. To talk about something positive, cool, we use the expression “c’est frais”.
    Example: “Je suis enfin en vacances, c’est trop frais”.


  • C’est le feu. “It’s fire”. Used to designate something very exciting, great, or spectacular.
    Example: “Ce concert hier soir c’était le feu, l’ambiance était incroyable !”


  • C’est ouf. “It’s crazy”. Deformation of “C’est fou”, c’est ouf means something incredible, to mark surprise, positive or negative.
    Example: “Tu as vu Cécile ? Elle revient de vacances, son bronzage est ouf.”


  • Je suis chaud. “I’m hot”. To express your enthusiasm or motivation to do something, we use the expression “je suis chaud”. It indicates that you are ready and motivated to participate in an activity or take on a challenge.
    Example: “Je suis chaud pour aller au concert ce soir, tu viens ?”.


  • Grave. “Totally”. To confirm a statement or express your approval, simply use the word “grave”. Forget “tout à fait” or “absolument”, “grave” is the new norm for saying that you agree. You can use it instead of “très” or “vraiment”, as in this example: I’m really happy.
    Example: “J’ai grave aimé ce film !”.


Acronyms or Abbreviations

  • Bjr: Bonjour (Hello)
  • Cc: Coucou (Hi (to greet))
  • Frr: Frère (Brother)
  • Jsp: Je sais pas (I don’t know)
  • MDR: Mort de rire (LOL)
  • Mtn: Maintenant (Now)
  • Pcq: Parce que (Because)
  • PTDR: Pété de Rire (ROFL)
  • Qqc: Quelque chose (Something)
  • Qq1: Quelqu’un Someone
  • Tavu: T’as vu (You saw / Do you feel me?)
  • Tkt: T’inquiète (Don’t worry)


There you have it, now you have the keys to decode everyday French language and integrate into popular culture!

Remember that language learning is primarily about practice

and immersion. So, don’t hesitate to use these expressions in your daily conversations and familiarize yourself with the latest linguistic trends.

Also, remember to follow French influencers and artists on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest expressions and enrich your vocabulary.

See you soon for new linguistic adventures with Atelier An Phu!

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