Top 10 French Swear Words

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I’ve been studying French for more than twenty years, but the one thing that none of my teachers ever shared were great French swear words. Like it or not, bad or swear words are an important part of every day conversation and so with that in mind, I want to share with you my ten favorite French swear words and phrases.


1. Merde (Maird)

This is at the heart of most French swearing and means Shit in English. It can be used in just about any way, the only limit is your own imagination.


2. Va te faire foutre ((Va-teh Fair Foo-trah)

Vulgar but effective, this literally means Go Fuck Yourself. You can use the verb foutre in other ways though, just as in English such as Fous-toi or Fuck You.


Paris Metro sign3.  Fils de pute (Feece deh Poot)

An old school term, but it still stings this translates to Son of a Slut or Whore but the connotations can be a lot worse.


4. Putain (Pooh-tahn)

This is a very rude and impolite way of calling someone a Whore, although I’m not sure there’s a really nice way to say that.


5. Salaud (Sa-lowd)

Lest you think the French only have ways to insult women, this one is for the gents: Bastard.


6. Zut (Zoot)

I threw this one in there for those who want to swear but may not want to be beaten up. This almost childish term translates roughly to darn or shucks.


French market7. Salope (Sa-lope)

The French have a lot of ways to say this word, something which bears further research I think. You guessed it, this is yet another phrase to say Bitch or Whore.


8. Ta Gueule (Ta Goul)

Not a harsh term, but certainly an impolite one this translates to Shut Up.


9. Brûle en l’enfer (Brool-ohn-lawnfer)

Certainly not the worst swear word out there, but probably one that’s been used for centuries. Brûle en l’enfer means Burn in Hell.


10. Enculer (ohn-cool-ay)

This is a more common way of saying fuck and can be conjugated to say Enule (Fuck you) or you can be creative and add some of the other words we learned like Encule toi Salaud (Fuck you bitch).


Do you have any more to add?

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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