French swear words, curse words and insults

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French swear words – turn away now if easily offended!

French swear wordsIt’s amazing how bad foreigners are at swearing in French. It’s an art. I’m not sure if you’ve seen that scene in Matrix 2 where Lambert Wilson starts swearing in French (click here Matrix reloaded Lambert Wilson – YouTube or see it below) and he says the same thing and he starts to swear wonderfully in French. It sounds elegant but it’s actually really vulgar words being used.

I do use French swear words but it means nothing to me as an English expat. I don’t have the same connection as I do with English swearing. I can get hurt by someone swearing at me in English. I can’t by someone swearing at me in French, it just doesn’t have the same effect. It would be more about the aggressive tone or meaning than the words themselves.

Anyway, it’s very, very hard to learn how to use French swear words and make it sound like you know what you’re talking about. Often, it sounds out of place. Annoyingly, the most flexible word in the English language, “fuck”, can’t be reproduced in French. The closest is “putain”, but you tend to put it at the beginning or the end of the sentence. So if you wanted to say “I’m so fucking tired”, in French you’d say “Putain, je suis crevé”.

In the table below, here are some words and sentences and their equivalents in English, but they’re not literal translations. They are things that all French people say, and is known as common language. Yes, the French swear, yes they can be very rude. It’s a beautiful language but they do have ugly words!

I’m sorry that it’s not for the faint of hearted, but if you’re here then you’re probably an adult anyway, and you need to understand what people are saying to you. Swearing is definitely an everyday occurrence! I’ve made a concession for the really bad word no one must mention (in English!).

French English
merde shit
putain fuck
va te faire foutre fuck you
va te faire enculer go fuck yourself
branleur wanker
fils de pute son of a bitch
crétin cretin
imbécile fool
t'as pas de couilles you ain't got the balls
connard asshole
salope bitch/slut
connasse c#!t
dégénéré inbred
tu me gonfles you're pissing me off
tu me fatigues you're annoying me
dégage ! piss off!
je m'en fiche I don't care
je m'en fou I don't give a shit
j'en ai rien à cirer I couldn't give a fuck
j'en ai plus rien à foutre I couldn't give a flying fuck
j'en ai marre I'm fed up
j'en ai ral le bol I'm really fed up
j'en ai ral le cul I'm so fucking fed up
t'es un salaud you're a bastard
ça schlingue! that stinks!
ça pue that smells bad
tais-toi be quiet
ta gueule shut up
ferme ta gueule shut the fuck up
t'es rien qu'un petit connard you really are an asshole
quel salaud ! what a bastard!
bordel de merde oh fuck
la vache oh crap
nom de Dieu/mon Dieu oh my god/my god

For my top 8 insults in French, click here.

You can also check out the best ways to learn French for free in this guide.

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