The Leaky Cauldron Blog

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5 Classy-ish French Insults

The lockdown due to the pandemic has been rough. Everyone’s trying to find a productive hobby to make the most of it. And me being no different, tried to learn Le Français. While learning a language is rewarding in itself, it gets a bit tedious after a while. After a while, you start understanding that the bookish language you learn is mostly useless IRL conversations. To my immense surprise, I learnt that the native speakers don’t exactly use “J’ai une baguette et un croissant”, all that much.

Pardon my French.

So, I decided that I need to change my strategy and learn some actually useful lines. And where better to start than from insults. Here are some of my favourite, classy-ish french insults that I found most interesting.

Et mon cul, c’est du poulet?!

Literally - And is my ass made of chicken?! This hilarious line isn’t really an insult per se, instead used as a sarcastic retort when someone is trying to bullshit you.

Si les cons volaient, tu serais chef d’escadrille!

Literally - If the idiots flew, you would be a squadron leader! Now, this is a proper insult, grand and extravagant, just what you expect from the French. It’s used to call someone - The Idiot-in-Charge.

Va te faire cuire un oeuf!

Literally - Go make yourself an egg! When a French person tells you to go make yourself an egg, it means they are annoyed at you. It’s the French way to say Fuck Off or Sod Off! The origin of this is said to be the old common domestic argument - ‘When a husband would criticise his wife’s cooking, she’d ask him to cook himself.’

Intellectuellement, il vit au dessus de ses moyens.

Literally - Intellectually, he lives beyond his means. Popularly used by famous Haitian-Canadian novelist and journalist Danny Laferrière. This is a perfect insult for someone exhibiting The Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Il a été bercé trop près du mur.

Literally - He was rocked too close to the wall. This hilarious insult is my personal favourite. It’s used to subtly imply that one has mental damage due to being accidentally rocked against a wall when they were an infant. The subtlety of this insult is what makes this so funny. I literally laughed for 5 minutes straight when I first read it.

Which one was your favourite, do you have any that I missed? Do let me know in the comments below.