Magical hearing aids!

This page is a word salade niçoise of unusual or slangy terms or phrases essential to surviving linguistically in La Bella Nissa.

So if you’re REALLY going to move to Paradise, it’s probably a good  idea essential to learn enough of the language to get by without sticking some goofy android Google translate app in a local’s face.

dictionaire-etymologique-001No, you don’t have to be able to speedread À la recherche du temps perdu over a weekend.

But you should be able to get the gist of Nice Matin’s headlines, or, say, follow instructions on how to get to the Nice prefecture, watch Spiral on Netflix, not to mention be able to skim though putrid right-wing garbola such as this (eh oui, Trumplandia is everywhere, bon sang!).

Few things in life are more self-affirming, for haughty American or Brit expats at least, than being able to hold a halting conversation in French, no doubt in some vaguely anti-Yankee café, while eyeballing with contempt the clueless yahoos LOUDLY passing by in their Love it or Leave it tees, cargo shorts and red baseball caps.  So study this list carefully.

(By the way, L’Internaute is also a valuable resource, if you get stuck online, for quickly looking up simple and clear definitions of French words, mainly because it does not get into advanced or unnecessary Larroussian complications.)

And for those of you with some fric to burn, the Waverly Labs Pilot Transmission Kit (see above) may be just the ticket!


basta-cousi-awa: Corsican for shut up!
carence: absence of
renflouer: to bail out, as in,”May pense que Trump va renflouer l’Angleterre. Quelle salope!”
lancebroquer: take a piss
fiable: trustowrthy, reliable, as in “Putin, c’est un mec vachement fiable, putain!”
la ferme: again, shut up! as in, “‘La-ferme, fermier,’ dit le noble, fermement.”
ta gueule, toi:  be quiet, yo!
casse-toi: get out out of my face, this is a very common expression, especially in films with “beurre” scenes,  as in “Casse-toi, pauv’ con!”
flic: a cop
pognon: money
minette: (fam.) a young woman, especially one that you meet a dance club
gonzesse: a young woman who’s not as foxy as a minette
merde, merdre: shit
va t’faire enculer!: go f*** yourself
magouilles: intrigue, usually when referring to political corruption
fumistrie: originally chimney related. used now to mean political chicanerie
tu m’fais chier: you deeply annoy me
Espèce de gros con: you fat imbecile, although the word con has other meanings
tu me casses les couilles: you’re busting my balls
le shit: illicit drugs of any sort
fric: blé, pognon, i.e. stacks in your pocket
chatte: the holiest of holies
beurre: a French citizen of North African origin
Ça vous en bouche un coin: the state of being gobsmacked
super sympa: someone who’s the exact opposite of a trumpster
gauchiste: an extremely clumsy person who despises Marine Le Pen
regionaliste: Occitan fanboy, this is usually a person who only listens to George Brassens records, which he plays on a record player.
Christian Estrosi: a clotheshorse known thoughout Nice as the Man who Invented the Burkini
kéké: a superficial tool who plies the Prom as cougar bait
le cafard: a condition that affected the majority of US voters after the last national election
rire jaune: forced laughter
embaucher: hire
remettre en cause: challenge
navette: shuttle bus
La Métropole: Nice and the boonies
abonné: season ticket holder
Allianz Riviera: Nice’s football (soccer) stadium
gratuit: free
appli: smartphone app

* * *

braquage, braquer: armed hold-up or assault
ligne de mire: (lit. and fig.) line of sight
attiser: (fig.) fan the flames, as in, what the Orange Clown does daily for sport or out of idiocy
houleux: (lit. and fig.) tumultuous, as in, “Le président américain a eu un entretien téléphonique houleux ce week-end avec ses démons imaginaires.”
être pistonné : to get a job because of one’s family or professional connections

(to be continued)