French is often referred to as the language of love… but, it is also a language full of weird words!
Read on below and discover 25 weird words in French, with example sentences!
Weird Words in French
Here are our picks for the top weird words in French:
1. Ooh La La
One of the weirdest and funniest sounding French words is also one of the most famous; “ooh la la!” The word is used in a number of ways including when excited, surprised, or angry.
Example of the word ooh la la in a proper sentence:
“Ooh la la! You look so scrumptious I could just eat you right up!”
Oula is a weird French word that may well be a shortened version of our number one pick (ooh la la). That said, this version of the word is a replacement for the word “wow” rather than being a universal word like oh la la.
Example of the word oula in a proper sentence:
“Guess what, babe!? I scored tickets to the Madona concert.”
“Oula! Are you even serious right now?”
The third weird word on our list, ouah, is another play on oh la la. This version works as a replacement for an enthusiastic “yeah” or “of course!”
Example of the word ouah in a proper sentence:
“Hey, Tina, I was wondering if you’d accompany me to the homecoming dance next week?”
“Oula! I’d love that. Thanks so much for asking me, Todd!”
This weird French word means packing cartons in English, but in French, its definition is “highly successful.”
Example of the word cartonner in a proper sentence:
“They only hate him because he’s a cartonner, son. Don’t let the politics of the situation fool you. There are two types of people in this world: cartonners, and not cartonners. Don’t you ever forget it.”
5. Allez Hop
While allez hop isn’t a real word, it does have real meaning in France. Saying allez hop to someone is the equivalent of saying “there you go.”
Example of the word allez hop in a proper sentence:
Francis plops another pancake onto Juilet’s plate, saying “allez hop” as he does so.
6. Aie, Aie, Aie
The sixth item on our list is another one that won’t show up in dictionaries. Aie, aie, aie is more of a statement of sentiment than an actual word, meaning something like “yikes” or “darn it!”
Example of the word aie, aie, aie in a proper sentence:
“Aie, aie, aie, captain! We nearly missed that Iceberg, but, alas! She’s pierced our starboard hull and we’re taking on water fast. Better sound the alarm and evacuate the passengers!”
Crapoter is a strange French word that means “pretending” in France and “puffing (without inhaling)” in English.
Example of the word crapoter in a proper sentence:
“Don’t share your smoke with Jimmy, that guy is a crapoter. His pipes fit for nothing more than tobacco leaves.”
8. Ben Oui
The weird French term ben oui is another one that you won’t find in a dictionary. Saying ben oui to someone is the say as telling them “duh, yeah.”
Example of the word ben oui in a proper sentence:
“Ben oui. What did you think would happen, wise guy? Yes, there will be consequences for your actions.”
The English definition of the weird-sounding French word hurluberlu is “hurly-burly” (or big strong hairy muscle man) but in France, the word means “eccentric” or “weird”, in reference to a person.
Example of the word hurluberlu in a proper sentence:
“Look here, you’re one hurluberlu bloke and I don’t want anything else to do with you!”
Hein is a weird French word that stands for something like “huh?” or “what did you say?” If Clint Eastwood had been French, it would have likely been in his vocabulary.
Example of the word hein in a proper sentence:
“Hein? Oui oui, punk. S’il vous plaît… make my day!”
The French word Machin in English translates to something like “thing.” In French, the word means “what-cha-ma-call-it”
Example of the word machin in a proper sentence:
“Machin! I can’t seem to remember the name of the darn thing!”
12. Ras Le Bol
In French, this weird-looking word means “Fed Up!” in France, in English, it means “pocket bowl.”
Example of the word ras le bol in a proper sentence:
“I’ve got the ras le bol if you’ve got the bottle of water. Fido looks like he could stop for a drink.”
13. Houp La
Houp La is the French way to say “oops!”
Example of the word houp la in a proper sentence:
“Houp la! Sorry, Frank! didn’t mean to drop that piano on your toe!”
14. Pomme de Terre
The weird sounding French phrase, “Pomme de Terre” translates into “apple of the ground” in English. In France, the real meaning of the word is potato.
Example of the word pomme de terre in a proper sentence:
“Mmm, mmm, mmm… oui oui, there is nothing so tasty as these wee little pomme de terres!”
In French, the weird word yaourter refers to someone who is “singly badly off key.” But, in English, it translates to something like “making yogurt.”
Example of the word yaourter in a proper sentence:
“Brittany is nothing more than a yaourter. She’ll never make it into the academy for gifted singers, I’m sorry Mr. Johnsonpeck.”
Another weird French word you won’t find in the books. Bof means something akin to “dislike.”
Example of the word bof in a proper sentence:
“Bof! I disagree strongly, Professor Singsong. My Brittany is a talented young singer. One day she will have more fans than Barbra Streisand. Ooh la la! You just wait and see!”
The weird word pantouflard represents someone who enjoys “staying at home” in French.
Example of the word pantouflard in a proper sentence:
“Well, Mr. Johnsonpeck, if Brittany practiced her vocals half as much as she practices being a plantoufard… I am certain she would be a cartonner!”
This strange-looking and weird-sounding French word translates to “rubber” in English.
Example of the word caoutchouc in a proper sentence:
“Are your eardrums made of caoutchouc? She has the finest voice the choir has ever been graced with!”
There is no English translation for the weird French word farfelou. Its meaning is something ridiculous or farfetched.
Example of the word farfelou in a proper sentence:
“Why, Mr. J, that idea is the most farfelou thing I have heard in my life time. This choir has many fine singers.”
20. Caca Boudin
The definition of caca boudin is a bit inappropriate: caca + sausage. You do the rest of the math 🙂
Example of the word caca boudin in a proper sentence:
“Caca boudin! My Brittany deserves that solo and you know it! What is your game, Professor?”
To Flâner is to wander with no point, aimlessly.
Example of the word flâner in a proper sentence:
“The young woman would often flâner through the streets, writing poetry, and singing for passersby.”
This weird French word has an even stranger definition than most; “un-country-ing”, which, more or less means
Example of the word dépaysant in a proper sentence:
“It is a dépaysant feeling, to be away from one’s homeland for so long.”
This bizarre-looking French word actually has no meaning, literally. When people use it, they are “swearing” politely. That is to say, they are swearing but not swearing, by using this particular word.
Example of the word saperlipopette in a proper sentence:
“Saperlipopette! That really smarts! I hate stubbing my toe on the sidewalk!”
In France, this weird word means something like “so much” or “a lot.” In English, it translates roughly to “like a cow.”
Example of the word vachement in a proper sentence:
“My heart is filled with a vachement of love for her.”
Prout is a French word that stands for the sound a fart makes. In English, the definition for the word is the sound of “toot!”
Example of the word prout in a proper sentence:
“Did you catch a whiff of the prout that congressman was selling? I don’t buy it!”