Life in Paris

The French You Don’t Learn at School – Part Five

The French you Don’t Learn at School is back and I can’t wait to share some new expressions with you! The goal of these posts is to help anyone learning French understand some well known and popular phrases that you definitely won’t learn at school but that you’ll need to understand a lot of Parisian people.

I hope you enjoy the post!

What the Parisians say:On va en teuf avec les potes”

What it means: We are going to a party with some friends. Teuf is the verlan for fête meaning a party and pote(s) is the slang for a friend!


What the Parisians say:Crotte”

What it means: Literally, this means poop. Less literally it means damn! This is a word you hear a lot when Parisians realise they have forgotten something.


What the Parisians say: Chelou – “Ce truc à l’air chelou.”

What it means: Verlan of Louche, Chelou means something is shady or dodgy.


What the Parisians say: les poulets –Roules doucement, il y a les poulets”

What it means: In England we call the police pigs, in France they call them chickens…


What the Parisians say: une bagarre – “Il y a eu une bagarre hier soir”

What it means: when two people are having a “bagarre,” they are having a fight.


What the Parisians say: bas de gamme – “Ce t-shirt est bas de gamme”

What it means: this is a great way to say something is low-end or low quality.


What the Parisians say: gratos – “L’alcool est gratos ce soir!”

What it means: slang for gratuit meaning free!


I hope you enjoyed the latest installment of The French You Don’t Learn at School and if you want to check out my previous articles you can click on the links below:

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four



  • Lena Zell

    This series is really so great! I would love to see you do a post on cute expressions/nicknames you can say to your significant other or close friends. For example when you think something is adorable, or a pet name to call people (romantic or friends), or when something good happens and you’re excited. French is such a romantic and cute sounding language, it’s so easy to make anything sound super sweet!

    • My Life Living Abroad

      Thanks for the feedback hun! So glad you liked it! I will do that, I can do one for couples with valentine’s day around the corner!

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