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Seven alternative French words to make you sound more native

Slang and jargon pop up all the time in French. But do you know how to use them?

Dropping in some French jargon is a great way to improve your French Pic: bbernard / Shutterstock

The French language is full of argot - which means jargon or slang in English - that you are likely to hear crop up in your everyday conversations.

Often these words sound nothing like their more common counterparts, so it is very fair to be thrown off when you first hear them or have no idea what they mean. 

However, using them is a great way to take your French to the next level, and to show natives that you can really speak the language. 

Many slang words originate from Arabic, which goes some way to explaining why they do not sound typically French. 

Here are seven words you can use to help you sound more French.

Toubib (doctor) 

Like many French slang words, toubib originates from Arabic. It is used instead of médécin, which means doctor.

Binouze (beer)

Binouze originates from the south of France and means beer. It comes from a combination of another slang word bibine, which means cheap wine, and ouze which is used as a slang suffix. 

Pépouze (laid-back/chilled)

This is used as a replacement for tranquille

Like binouze, pépouze also uses the slang suffix of ouze. The pép comes from pépère, which means, among other things, comfortable. 

Read also: Understand French better with these 14 slang phrases

Bof (so-so)

Instead of saying comme ci comme ca as we are taught in school, French people are much more likely to use bof

C’est pas ouf (it is not great) 

Ouf is verlan for fou which means crazy. C’est pas ouf means that it is nothing special or nothing particularly great. 

Fric (money)

Fric is used in place of argent for money. It has been in the French vocabulary for a while, having first been used in the 19th century. 

It comes from the word fricot, which means a feast. It is thought to have come about by using it as a term to buy the food to throw these fricots (feasts). 

Un chouïa (a little) 

Originally originating from Arabic, chouïa can be used instead of un petit peu

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