If you’re moving to Paris with teenagers, your teens will be mixing with French teens, which means some pretty strange words will be coming out of their mouths  French teens, like teens everywhere, have their own special language. Don’t panic. We’re here to help.

As you encounter Parisian youngsters, listen carefully and try to pick up a few words of what we call Branché ado. This is a mixture of conventional French argot, new urban street language, and internet Franglais. In case your French isn’t good enough and you think your next high society event will be a great place to try out your new vocabulary, here's a few pointers. Use with care and moderation. It is not such elegant way…

The “in” words.

A donf


C’est trop….

C’est un truc de…


J’ai un plan



Je gère


No problem

Pas de soucis

Popular but use sparingly.

C’est chanmé

C’est swag

Je suis frais 

Je suis trop dègue 

Je vais chiller

C’est ma best

Ça va le faire…

Not that great. Avoid. Use jokingly and maybe not in polite company.


J’entends bien


Tu me saoules

Outdated. Has-been.

C’est cool

C’est l’angoisse

C’est ma bff

Ça craint!

Je reve


A donf. Backwards slang for à fond. Expression used mockingly by teens to claim they’re “giving it all”, they’re working “flat out”, they’ve got “the pedal to the metal”. The last time I heard one of my kids use this expression, it was “But I’m studying, Je suis à donf.” In fact he was sprawled across the bed. 

Allôôôôôôôôôôôôôôôôôôôô !!!!!!!!!! Definitely not the same Allô the average Frenchman uses to answer the phone. You might say this Allô is for a “wake-up call”. It’s like saying, “Get real!”

Ca craint: Problemo!  

C’est chanmé. Originally backwards slang for méchant. In Teenspeak it means “wicked awesome”.

Ça va pas le faire… No way this is gonna work, dude!

C’est ma best. He/she’s my best friend.

C’est ma bff. She’s/he’s my Best Friend Forever. (If you’re still saying this, you’re already behind the times.).

C’est swag. From the English word swagger. Classy! Superior taste and breeding, that others will want to imitate.

C’est cool. It’s cool.

C’est un truc de. Lazy talk when you can’t think of a better word. Like “thing” or “shit” in English: C’est un truc d’enfer / “cool stuff. ” Un truc de malade / “crazy shit”.

Je suis frais. I’m cool. Not to worry.

Frérot. New word to say buddy or pal. Instead of saying Bonjour, kids can might say Salut frérot. (Hi bro!)

Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!!!!!! French Teenspeak for “Absofuckinglutely”.  Often put at the end of a sentence to reaffirm something. Example: T’as aimé ma nouvelle recette de cookies ? Trop bons, graaaaaaaaaaaave. 

J’entends bien. I do understand. You don’t have to repeat yourself.

J’ai un plan. I gotta plan. I got an idea where we can party, where we can hang out, maybe grab a bite.

J’hallucine. Literally “I’m hallucinating”   In other words “That’s nuts. It’s friggin’ crazy!”

J’rigole. “non j’rigole” Means “Just joking”. Expect when your kid says this he may actually mean the opposite. A French teenager usually says this just after putting foot in mouth. Maman, j’ai pas mal dépassé mon forfait, non j’rigole »
Mom, I just realized I overspent… oops! Never mind! Just kidding!

Je gère. I’m dealing with it. Meaning (believe it or not) I’m grown up enough to handle my allowance and my own cell phone plan… and what I do is none of your business. So don’t worry! T’inquiètes, je gère !

Je rêve. “Like am I dreaming or what!”

Je suis trop dègue. “Dègue” is a contracted form of the French word for “disgusted”. In French  Teenspeak, it  actually means “I’m deeply disappointed”. If you fail an exam, you say J’ai eu une sale note, je suis trop dègue.» “Bummer, the grade she gave me really bites!”

Je vais chiller. I’m gonna chill out.

© Pictures: front page istock

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Chantal - Children

Bonjour, my name is Chantal. I’m often told that I’m “so French”. This is, in part, due to my traditional upbringing in Versailles, one of the most conservative cities in France, famous for its chateau, good schools and large families. I have three daughters. They’re model children, cheerful, nice and really fashionable. I’m in Paris almost every afternoon for my charity work and I still work part-time as a dance teacher. When the occasion presents itself, I teach etiquette to children at school. I’ll try and explain why my children get so many compliments.    

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Edizione Italiana

Edita da RIZZOLI, Sophie la Parigina è una guida di stile moderna su PARIGI. Illustrata dai disegni di Alessandra Ceriani, completata da un elenco degli indirizzi preferiti dalla parigina e arricchita di ricette gastronomiche.


English Edition

Published by RIZZOLI New York, Sophie the Parisian'sis a modern life style guide about PARIS. Illustrated with color drawings, complemented by a list of Parisians' favorite locations and enriched with gastronomic recipes.

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