French expressions, idioms and argot in songs

French expressions, idioms and argot in songs

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If you are learning French, we are sure that you listen to some songs in French. And if you don’t, you definitely should! Why? Well, because throughout French songs and listening to French music in general, you will be able to read the lyrics and to hear the right vocabulary’s pronunciation! We all know how much people struggle with French pronunciation; that’s why we think that French songs can be so useful.

In addition, we think that by listening to French songs you’ll be able to also learn some French expressions, some French idioms and French argots. French pop songs always use some kind of French expressions. Through this blog article, you will learn some French expressions, French idioms and French argots and also you will discover some French songs that you can listen to to practice your French!

Sapés comme jamais

Sapés comme jamais (jamais)

This French song by Maître Gims was really popular in 2015. You can already find a French argot in its title. The French expression used here is ”se saper”, that means “s’habiller, mettre ses habits”, so “to dress up”. The title of this song means to be dressed in its best dresses.

Quand il me prend dans ses bras

Qu’il me parle tout bas

Je vois la vie en rose

This French song by Edith Piaf is called “La vie en rose”. It is really really famous, also because there are several covers made by other artists. What does the French idiom “voir la vie en rose” mean? “Voir la vie en rose” means “être optimiste”, it means to be optimistic. This French expression is also used in other languages, for example, you can find it in English as “to see through rose-coloured glasses”. This French expression seems to have originated in the 18th century and it uses the pink colour as a joyful colour.

Tout le monde il veut seulement la thune

Et seulement ça, ça les fait bander

This French song by Angèle is called “La thune”. And this is the French argot that we want to examine now. “La thune” is a French argot that is used to refer to the money, to an amount of money held by someone that is usually in cash. But why do French refer to the money in such a way? Well, it seems that this French argot was used for the first time in 1628 and that it referred to the five-franc, so we can say that the word’s meaning didn’t change so much since it still refers to the money.

M’raconte pas tes salades

C’est soi tu viens, soit tu t’tailles

This French song by Gradur and Heuss L’Enfoiré is a really recent one. It uses one French idiom that is: “raconter des salades”. This French idiom means “dire des bêtises, raconter des mensonges”, so it means “to tell lies to someone/to tell incredible stories”. Which are the origins behind this French expression? Well, it seems that this French expression was used for the first time by the French writer Antoine de la Sale in 1441 in his book “La salade”, which was a compilation of stories. It started to have the meaning that we attribute to it today only at the end of the XIXth century.

Au début, ils sont mignons, ils sont sympas

Ils jouent bien de la flûte mais ça compte pas, non ça compte pas


Arrête tes sala-la-la-la-la-lades

Tu kiffes trop la mala-la-la-la-la

This French song by Eva and Lartiste is called “On fleek”. This song uses several French idioms, French expressions and French argots. The first French idiom that we can notice is “jouer de la flûte”. This French expression is used to say “mentir”, “to lie”. In this song, you can also find the French expression “salade” again, that means, as you might know by now, “stories/lies”. In this song, you can also find a French argot that is “kiffer”. Kiffer means “aimer, adorer quelque chose ou quelqu’un”, so it means “to love, adore something or someone.” This French argot comes from the Arabic word “kif”, which means to smoke hashish or cannabis, but it also refers to the pleasure that you feel when you do that. This word evolved and it became a verb in French. Its current meaning is to take a lot of pleasure, to love, to be crazy about something or someone.

Et elle est où, la moulaga?

La moulaga, grosse moula tah Bogotá

This French argot was used by Heuss l’Enfoiré in the song “Aristocrate”, and it’s used in several French rap songs. So, Heuss l’Enfoiré starts this song saying “Where is the moulaga?”. But the real question is “what does moula mean?” La moula is a French argot that was used for the first time in 1930 in the US. It comes from the Spanish word “mula” that means “mule” and it refers to the mules that used to carry money or drugs. So la moula refers to money or to drugs.

Hein, tu connais quoi, il veut me manipuler

Fais doucement, tu pourrais m’envoûter

J’vois qu’tu galères à passer la step (step)

This French song by Aya Nakamura is called “40%”. In this French song, we can find a French expression, a French argot that is galérer. Galérer means “être dans une situation pénible”, it can be translated in English as “to struggle”.

Okay, so now let’s pass to the part that you were all waiting for! Now we will see a French swear word that is really used; we can say that it’s a French expression.

Un jour, je serai sage, j’aurai fini de faire le con

J’irai voir mes ennemis pour tous leur demander pardon

We can find this French argot, this French swear word in the song “Sur la lune” by Bigflo & Oli. The swear word that they used is “con”. So, this French “désigne une personne stupide, méprisable, désagréable”; it can be translated as asshole in English. Some equivalents are “connard” ou “couillon”.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article about French expressions, French idioms and French argots. If you want to keep on studying French expressions, idioms and argots we would recommend you to take a glance at the courses that we created for you on VocApp. With VocApp, you can create an account that gives you access to professional language courses to learn French in a fun and effective way. If you want to learn more expressions, idioms or argots in French, you can have a look at the Argots français course and at French expressions and idioms course. Bon courage!

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