is French Slang (also called Backslang)?
French slang is a dialect used by people in the street, and those who
want to be in the move (follow the trend) as well. Slang French
has its own subdivisions. As an example, when I was younger, I couldn't
understand some words used by boys from the other side of Paris
We were all French, but using different words made by us for us. Each
town had its own words.
is an example:
The French word for: 'car' is 'la voiture'. Note that it is a feminine
In slang, we were never saying 'la voiture' but 'la caisse'. 'La
caisse' means 'the box'. We used to say this because when you enter in
any car, it's like you are entering in a box, isn't it?
time, I met some guys from the est of Paris. One of them said I will take my
'fer' (the translation for 'fer' is 'iron' in english). I didn't
understand what he meant by 'fer', since it means iron, and iron had no
relation with the context... I understood that it was their own word,
and to know the meaning, the only thing I could do was asking them.
if you grab the best French to French dictionary, you will never be
able to find the right definition since it was proper to them!
when I asked, the guy told me that the 'fer' was what we called 'la
caisse'. They called that iron because a car is made of iron, steal,
I found others call a car: 'le feu' (feu = fire in English). They
a car 'fire' because of the combustion and gaz.
Slang is something that only a French native speaker can teach you.
that slang will change a lot from the north to the south of France, as
from the est to the ouest.
slang, you will also find backslang ('verlan' which is derived from the
real French word: 'a l'envers' = upside down)
speak Backslang, you just need to say the syllables of the words back
are some examples,
"To eat" which is “Manger” in French, is changed to
géman " in backslang, "To beat" which is "frapper" in French
changed to "pefra".
A 'dog' which is "chien" in French is changed to "iench", etc...
to go further and see the difference between French, slang and
backslang, let's take an example...
French, a woman is: "une femme". There are several words in slang for
women: 'une gonzesse' (old slang, not used anymore), 'une nana' (not
used where I live!) or 'une canette' just to name a few.
you may not hear the word canette because it was a word used where I
lived, and it had itself a relation with creole.
that we saw the slang for the word woman ("femme"), what is the
"meuf" or "feumeu", the two are accepted.
Another example: The slang for a car ("une voiture" in French) we saw
some example before ('caisse', 'fer', 'feu'). An oldest form of slang
is 'bagnole' (was used in the 70's).
would be the backslang for voiture?
need to say that in order to say the "right" backslang word, you need
to master these words and the French language in general, otherwise you
will pass for a fool!
can be a good test for people who learn French?
Now if you hear a word that really doesn't make sense, ask yourself:
is it French, slang or Backslang?