Warning, look away now if you are a sensitive soul. The following French insults are fighting words, and will definitely add fuel to the flames.
French may be a beautiful language, but French people are not afraid to get into an argument. They are actually rather quick to tell people off. This is especially true in big cities and in road rage type incidents but really can occur anywhere.
And if you happen to be at a football game, such as Paris Saint Germain vs Olympique de Marseille, then you should really just walk away, unless you want to set off a riot! The general rule is don’t say it in French if you wouldn’t say it to someone in English.
Either way, while you may not want to the first to launch the F-bombs, you should at least understand what is being said. With that being said, here we go:
Table of Contents
Top French Insults
1) Va te faire foutre! – Fuck you!
A very aggressive “Fuck you!” or “Up yours”. It is quite vulgar, with a sexual connotation, the same as in English.
Can be also said with the bras d’honneur gesture, which is to extend the left arm out up and out, with index and middle finger extended. With the right hand open, slap the left bicep just above the elbow while raising the left forearm up to 90 degrees.
2) Va te faire enculer! Go fuck yourself!
Similar to the one above, this can also be said with the bras d’honneur. This tends to be more popular in cities in the south of France, like in Marseille.
3) T’as pas de couilles! – You don’t have the balls!
Couilles literally means “balls”, so you can also say Couillon which means “little testicles”. The ultimate insult to a man, I suppose!
4) Fils de pute! – Son of a whore!
Pute means “whore”, so Fils de pute is “son of a whore”. To insult a woman, you can just use “pute”, by itself just as in English.
5) Crétin! – Dumbass!
A rather mild one, meaning “dumbass”. The famous cartoon Lapins Crétin was translated into English as “Raving Rabbids”, so you can see it is rather mild.
6) Salope! – Slut!
The same as in English, this is used only to females. It is not unsimilar to Salopard, which means bastard, and is for men.
7) Connard – Asshole!
Connard is usually for men, and for women, you can use Connasse instead. (Even in insults you have to match and accord the adjective in French!)
8) Imbécile! – Idiot!
Another rather mild one, idiot would be used in the same context as in English.
9) Dégénéré! – Degenerate!
This one is a bit more rare, but can still be used in an argument with someone.
10) Quel salaud! – What an asshole!
Salaud can be used interchangably with Salopard (from above), which means bastard, and is usually for men.
11) T’es chiant! – You’re annoying!
One of the mildest ones on the list, which can even be said to children.
12) Sac à Merde – Bag of shit
Traditionally it is sac à Merde (literally “sack to shit”) which sounds a bit odd grammatically. More recently Sac de Merde (“sack of shit”) has become popular, including the name of a short movie.
As I said, you may escalate the quarrel instead of dampening it down, so handle with care.
Note, these are insults specifically aimed at an antagonist, If you are looking for more general swear words (as is “Putain, I dropped a hammer on my foot”), check out my post on top French Swear words linked below.
☞ RELATED POST: Top French Swear Words to sound like a Parisian
If you would like a free printable version to remember these Insults, you can download that here. A bientôt !
¹ Featured Image: Samantha Hurley for Burst Shopify
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