Home French Language French Verlan: A Cryptic, Fashionable Slang You Should Secretly Be taught

French Verlan: A Cryptic, Fashionable Slang You Should Secretly Be taught

French Verlan: A Cryptic, Fashionable Slang You Should Secretly Be taught


french verlan

Did you ever attempt talking in a secret code language once you have been younger?

As French learners, you possibly can look into French’s verlan. This was a secret language however is now standard slang, particularly amongst youthful individuals.

Verlan includes merely reversing the syllables of French phrases—for instance, merci to cimer.

Be taught some extra of it with this information, which takes you thru how French verlan works plus frequent vocabulary!


What Is Verlan?

Verlan, which is definitely the French phrase à l’envers backwards or “reversed” (that’s what it interprets to), is a type of Pig Latin that French audio system use in on a regular basis speak—manner, far more than an English speaker would ever use Pig Latin of their complete life.

All of it started when French individuals selected to talk in code to cover info from social management and police forces. The data exchanged was often associated to unlawful cases, however now the type of talking in verlan has caught. It’s now a cooler, cryptic slang that’s actively practiced by the youthful French inhabitants—and it even discovered its manner into music, like French hip hop and rap.

Verlan is definitely a lot simpler and quicker to be taught than common French slang (argot). Sure, key phrase: quicker.

When you get the cling of it, it’ll be straightforward as pie, so listed here are 10 French phrases verlanisés to assist get you began on the earth of verlan à l’envers:

10 French Verlan Slang Phrases You Should Be taught

1. Céfran (FrançaisFrench)

Céfran is categorized beneath the novice stage of verlan. fran, as you possibly can see, is the reversal of the syllables in français. By breaking apart the phrase français at its syllables, fran-çais, you get fran, céfran.

C’est un céfran (Is he French?)

2. Tromé (Métro Metro)

Similiar to céfran, tromé is on the newbie’s aspect. It’s a two syllable phrase, tro, which is the verlan of tro.

Tromé is used nearly on a regular basis. You’ll hear it on the metro (duh), at events or with associates who’re acquainted talking to one another like this.

Vous êtes arrivés ici en tromé ? (Did you come right here by metro?).

3. Cimer (Merci Thank You)

One other a type of straightforward, peasy, lemon squeezy verlanisé phrases! 

Merci turns into cimer. Merci can be solely made up of two syllables, and since no accent is required, it may maybe be the utmost easy phrase of verlan. I’m not going to translate this one into English for you as a result of, effectively, you need to know what merci means!

You’ll hear cimer fluidly utilized by quite a few younger français. I’d contemplate it essentially the most used verlan phrase of all.

T’es génial, cimer ! (You’re superior, thanks!).

4. Ouf (Fou Loopy)

Vous êtes fou! Should you by no means heard of this one earlier than, fou is the common phrase in French for “loopy.”

This one may look tough as a result of it’s a brief phrase with two vowels subsequent to one another. I’m certain you’ve conceived that the breaking apart of syllables includes splitting a phrase up at its vowels, however within the case of three-letter verlan phrases, there’s an exception.

Right here’s the way it seems: f0u turns into ouf. On this case you break up the vowels collectively and take the ending pair of letters and transfer them to the start of the phrase: fou  ouf.

The rationale for this exception is as a result of main ingredient of sound. Ouf sounds extra like fou backwards [foo – oof] than (uof) would.

Like cimer, ouf can be actually, actually frequent. A humorous standard on a regular basis expression utilizing the verlanisé of fou aka ouf is:

 Truc de ouf. (That’s loopy or it’s loopy).

C’était un truc de ouf ! (It was loopy!).

Truc interprets to “factor” in French, and it stands for actually any outdated factor. Something could be a truc. Attempt to bear in mind this expression for subsequent time and also you’ll blow all of your classmates, comrades and colleagues away!

5. Oim (Moi Me)

Prefer to ouf, moi or oim is damaged up the identical manner, through rule exception.

Once more, the “M” or letter with no vowel stands alone within the break-up reversal. Moi turns into oim. The reason being for precedence of sound. Oim sounds extra like moi backwards than iom would.

Viens chez oim(Come to my place!).

6. Meuf (Femme Girl)

The envers (reverse) of femme, which I hope you already know interprets to “girl” is meuf.

Meuf is taken into account a extra superior phrase to verlaniser. Chances are you’ll be confused as to how femme turns into meuf, however right here’s how the verlanisé of it seems:

Femme → femme  mmefe → mmefe → meuf

I do know that even after this step-by-step clarification you continue to won’t perceive why femme turns into meuf, however as I discussed earlier than, sound is a primary rule!

While you attempt to say femme backwards by utilizing the literal reversal (mmefe), it doesn’t work in anyway! The addition of the “U” and dropping the ultimate “E” make meuf ring extra like femme backwards.

All the time keep in mind that this can be a language sport, and that guidelines could be a little topsy turvy. That goes for any language basically. It’s simply one thing that you simply’re speculated to know or memorize!

7. Reuf (Frère Brother)

These subsequent three verlan phrases on the record are going to use the identical rule because the one present in femme.

Frère, which is the phrase for “brother” in French, as you see, will get verlanisé into reuf.

There goes that “U” once more! That’s one other frequent change you’ll see with these subsequent three phrases on the verlan record. Incorporating the “U” into these phrases and dropping the final “e” provides the phrase a greater sound in its envers (reversed) model.

Within the case of frère aka reuf, the second “r” can be dropped:

Frère → frère → refrè → refre → reufre → reuf

When you hear and say these phrases to your self out loud you’ll see what I imply concerning the distinction between the sound in reuf and refre. The additional “r” on the finish of re-fre takes away from the unique sound of frère, that’s the reason it turns into reuf.

As I discussed earlier than, verlan is famously used inside French hip hop and rap. Right here’s the phrase frère (together with some others we’ve realized) utilized in motion by a well-known French rapper, Rohff. The title of the music known as “Classique.”

“Une keuf meuf, ou se faire poucave par son propre reuf.” (A feminine cop, who obtained snitched out by her personal brother).

Sure I do know, doesn’t properly stream as a lot in English! However in case you’ve observed, meuf, one of many phrases we realized, can be thrown into the sentence, together with one other that isn’t on the record: keuf. Keuf is verlan for “cop” or “police,” the envers of flic (which is argot for police).

Different well-known French rappers who have a tendency to make use of verlan of their lyrics are La Fouine and Sniper.

8. Reum (Mère — Mom)

Mère (mom) in verlan is reum. Just like the earlier two phrases on the record, the identical guidelines apply. Right here’s how this one seems:

Mère → re → reme → reume → reum

Let’s simply say that in case you’re residing in France at a homestay with international French mother and father, calling your own home mother reum most likely gained’t slide. They may not even know what it means, particularly in the event that they’re a part of the older era. Some home mother and father are on the youthful aspect although. If they’re, attempt to casually throw it in there, they may suppose it’s cute.

9. Teuf (Fête  Social gathering)

Now we get to the cool stuff. Teuf, which is the envers of fête (occasion) is often utilized by the youthful, hip era:

Fête → teef → tefe → teufe → teuf

So when to make use of teuf? Every time your coronary heart needs. As a result of much like ouf and cimer, teuf is an especially favored verlan phrase.

So in case you’re talking in entrance of your French homestay mother and also you’re sneakily planning to go to a secret French underground rave, then teuf can be the sensible phrase to make use of.

Tu veux venir à la teuf ce soir ? (You wanna come to the occasion tonight?).

10. Vénère (Énervé Offended)

So I saved the most effective for final, as a result of this French phrase may describe how you’re feeling proper now, a bit of vénère aka énervé?

Vénère is the verlan of énervé, which is French for “offended” or “mad.”

Right here’s one final switch-up:

énervé → énner → neré → vénère

That was good and straightforward.

Observe: Watch out to not confuse vénère with the verb vénérer, which implies to “venerate” or “worship” in French.

Tips on how to Use Verlan

For essentially the most half, this record of verlan vocabulary phrases has just some of the prominently used. Whereas all French phrases can technically be verlanisé, some are extra generally used than others.

It’s type of hectic to actually verlaniser each French phrase in a sentence (although there are individuals who do it). Others attempt to even verlaniser a phrase that’s already been verlanisé (this is named veul), which is the double verlan of the phrase verlan, making it much more cryptic—however let’s not get carried away.

Usually, there are solely sure phrases inside a sentence which might be verlanisés. Should you’re having hassle determining which phrases to “disguise” throughout regular French speech, take into consideration the phrase inside the sentence that you simply need to be saved secret, that’s often your greatest guess.

Verlan is a part of casual French, so if you wish to be taught extra conversational language and slang, you possibly can look into the e-book from IE Languages. The e-book comes with loads of audio, so you possibly can be taught to acknowledge slang and casual speech once you hear it in dialog.

One other useful resource is FluentU, which options genuine French clips from film trailers, standard songs, vlogs and extra—all with interactive subtitles. You’ll be able to click on on any phrase or expression whereas watching and see knowledgeable translation plus grammar notes, even for slang and verlan.


Now that I’ve allow you to in on a bit of secret, chime in and attempt to detect verlan amongst younger, cool, hip French audio system. You’ll be stunned at how a lot you really hear!