One of my classes is dedicated to the français familier, or familiar French. The everyday French that people use differs greatly to that which we are taught in our regular classes. We’re taught polite, bordering on formal, French (français standard or soutenu) – stuff that, when I tell Sim what I’ve learnt he says ‘Yes, that’s correct but noone talks like that!’ Sups…
Here’re a few for you:
- Sups – short for super, used sarcastically.
- Blé, fric, tunes – money, but equivalent to dough, cash, dosh. Money is de l’argent.
- Bourré – drunk. Drunk is ivre, kind of sounds like the name Yves…unlucky!
- Boudin – ugly. In Français standard, a boudin is a fat sausage!
- Came – drugs. Our prof told us that on an excursion to La Guillotière, a known drug trafficking area (excursion?!), a student was pounced on by undercover police when he asked ‘Qu’est-ce que ce, la came?’ or, ‘What is came?’ But it’s pronounced like ‘calm’ so be careful! Don’t go looking for calm in La Guillotière – you never know what you’ll get! Arrested, perhaps.
- Canon – a beautiful girl.
- Flics – police, equivalent to cops.
- Poulets – police, equivalent to pigs. In français standard, poulet is chicken.
- Mec – guy.
- Nana – chick.
And, my favourite, péter – to fart. Our teacher had a great laugh explaining this one, even drawing diagrams on the board!
Lucky there’s noone called Peter in my group!