French Curse Words To Use Like “Merde,” “Zut,” & More

28 December 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Lupin / Netflix

Let’s face it, in this time where slang words come and go in a single swipe, curse words have always been sort of the exception. Think about it, these so-called “bad words” have been around for a very long time and they never, ever went away. They were also never out of fashion because people used them here and there. Perhaps, you could say that its constant use helped its relevance over time.

Anyway, in France, cursing is something many people do. The preferred profanity depends on the person, of course. So you are bound to hear different words like the English common word “f*ck” or something in French like “putain” (which means f*ck in English). But these two examples aren’t the only profanities in the French language. And as you might have imagined, there is a spectrum of profanities in the French language. What are they? Let’s find out!

Important to remember: these vulgar words are quite offensive and controversial to some, so they must be said with extra caution.

  • shit, f*ck: putain (pu-tahn)
  • shit: merde (merd)
  • good grief: bon sang (bohn sahn)
  • idiot: con (koh) / conne (kohn)
  • f*ck off: se casser (seh kah-sey) / casse-toi (kahs-twa)
  • shut up: ta gueule (tah gul)
  • bastard: salaud (sah-loh)
  • f*ck; motherf*cker: sa mère (sah mehr)
  • asshole: ducon (duh-kohn)
  • b*tch: pute (poot)
  • damn: mince (mahns)
  • scumbag: salopard (sah-loh-par)
  • shit: chier (shee-eh)
  • damn: zut (zoot)
  • balls: couilles (koo-yuh)
  • idiot: tête de nœud (tet de nuh)
  • ass: cul (kool)