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French Curse Words

French curse wordsLock up your daughters and look out for your boss, because we’re about to learn some seriously juicy French curse words up in here. I’ve had some expert help from a UN translator on this, so you can rest assured they’re accurate.
A note of warning: If you’re visiting France and would like to leave with all of your limbs intact, don’t say any of the following things while there.
And I don’t say that lightly. Since the birth of diplomacy French has been its official language, for a variety of reasons. One of them, in my opinion and experience, is that it is a delicate and formal language that softens the hardest blows.
Therefore, while you may think these phrases sound beautiful, they are in fact swear words in French, and should be treated as such. There are many more ways to impress the French using their language, trust me on this one.
A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t say it back home, don’t say it to a French person. We cool?


Literal meaning: zero. (Careful with the pronunciation here! It’s pronounced nah-zzz, emphasis on the first syllable.)

  • “Pauvre naze.”- Useless person, probably stupid as well.
  • “C’est naze.” – It’s shit.
  • “Je suis naze.”- I’m exhausted.


Literal meaning: bad slang for female genitalia, used as an adjective. The female variant is “conne”.

  • “C’est con.”- It’s dumb.
  • “T’es con.”- You’re dumb.
  • “Espèce de con.”- A mild version meaning a big idiot.
  • “Gros con.”- Big fat idiot.
  • “Sale con.”- The most insulting form.


Literal meaning: Verb meaning to f*ck, derived from “forniquer” (to fornicate). It’s pronounced neek.

  • “Il/Elle s’est fait niquer.” – He/she got screwed over.
  • “Nique ta mère!”- I’ll just say that mère means “mother,” and leave it at that.
  • “Je l’ai niquée.”- I f*cked her. (“neek-ay”)
  • “Nique sa race”- not a racist insult, but a crude way of saying, in effect, OMG: “Nique sa race, t’as vu cette belle fille?”- F*ck, did you see that gorgeous girl?


Literal meaning: Ass. Pronounced cool.

  • “T’as vu ce cul?” – Did you see that ass?
  • “Tu l’as dans le cul.” – Suck it up (to someone who’s complaining).
  • “Ca me donne un gros cul?” – Does my ass look big in this?


Literal meaning: To sodomize. Can be used as an adjective: enculé. Either way, it’s ahn-cool-ay.

  • “T’as vu cet enculé?” – Did you see that lucky bastard?
  • “Sale enculé.” – Dirty bugger.
  • “Va te faire enculer.” – F*ck you.


Literal meaning: To shit. Pronounced shee-yair.

  • “ça me fait chier” – It annoys me.
  • “Tu me fais chier”- You’re annoying me.
  • “Fait chier” followed by a sigh for when you are annoyed by something.

For more fun with French swear words and phrases, check out Julie’s favorite French swears.
Photo by Sylaf