The French expressions we use (about food, sex, and more)

The French language offers a lot of vivid expressions, often about food, or somewhat vulgar or sexual. I started collecting them.

I find this to be a lot of fun, because while we, the French, enjoy a reputation as a refined, cultivated and intellectual people, in practice we mention food and joke about sex all the time. It makes for an interesting contrast between our love for all things culture and our bon vivant outlook.

French expressions about food and cuisine 🥐

  • dans les choux
  • je rends mon tablier
  • la fin des haricots
  • compter pour des prunes

Sexy, sexual or vulgar French expressions 🍆

France and the French language enjoy a reputation as a romantic, sophisticated culture. While there is definitely a lot of truth to it (we do value culture), there's a strike contrast between the romantic, delicate depiction of the French abroad and the language we use on a daily basis. Long story short: we use a ton of vulgar or graphic expressions (and this is not limited to the lower class.) I find this contrast super interesting and would like to illustrate it.
  • menteur comme un soutien gorge
  • se sortir les doigts du cul
  • qu'est-ce que tu branles ?
  • les Anglais débarquent !
  • Péter plus haut que son cul
It may be worth pointing out that the French are a less prude than, say, Americans or Russians. You can hear the F-word on prime time TV in France without anyone raising an eyebrow, while you wouldn't in the US (where foul language gets censored) or Russia (where foul language feels close to taboo.)