100 “Mots Familiers”, Revealing the French Vocabulary Spoken Outside the Classroom

“Mon pote est allé bosser en bagnole.” What? “Mon ami est allé travailler en voiture.” Ah, now I get it!

In the rich tapestry of everyday French language, “mots familiers” serve as vibrant threads weaving through various aspects of life. From interactions with individuals, family, and friends to navigating the realms of home, school, work, and leisure, these colloquial words paint a vivid picture of daily existence. French-speaking people use these words in informal situations, and these words are rarely spoken in formal settings such as business meetings or even language schools. Let us embark on a journey through the realms of these 100 colloquial French words, exploring their significance in different facets of life.

Mots Familiers: Individuals, Family, Friends

In the sphere of personal relationships, “pote” (friend), “mec,” “type,” “gars” (guy), “nana,” “meuf” (girl), and “môme,” “gosse,” “gamin(e)” (kid) create a sense of camaraderie and closeness. Within the family, terms like “frangin” (brother), “vieux” (dad), “vieille” (old woman), “daron” (dad), and “daronne” (mom) evoke familiarity and affection, reflecting the bonds shared within kinship.

Mots Familiers: Home, Places, Activities

Living is described by “crécher” (to live) at home, with “baraque,” “bicoque” (house), “piaule” (room), and “pieu,” “plumard” (bed) resonating with a sense of coziness and belonging. Not quite cozy, but “petit coin” (toilet) is also an important word to know. For everyday activities, there are “pioncer,” “roupiller” (sleep), and “piquer un roupillon” (siesta). When there is chaos, they would say “c’est le bazar,” and when we forget a word or cannot describe something, we say “truc,” “bidule,” or “machin.” “Fastoche” (easy) describes our living situation and ease of life. Additional words like “filoche” (to sneak) reflect actions and behaviours in different settings. In rural areas, terms like “bled” (small town) and “plouc” (hick) describe the countryside and its inhabitants.

Colloquial words: School, Equipment, Activities

Within the academic realm, “bahut” (school) and “se bouger” (take the effort) form the backdrop of learning, while “décrocher” (not following), “pomper” (copy others), and “chahuter” (do stupid things) depict the other side of education. Engaging in extracurricular pursuits, “bûcher” (to study hard), “un exo” (an exercise), and “une colle” (a difficult question or punishment) become familiar activities. Terms like “un bouquin” (a book) and “galérer” (to struggle) enrich our vocabulary related to education and work.

Mots Familiers: Travel, Time, Distances, Transportation

Navigating the urban landscape, “bagnole” (car) and “boulot” (work) shape our daily commute, while “le pieu” (bed) defines our daily routine. Grappling with time and distance, “une plombe” (an hour), “une pige,” and “un balai” (a year) serve as markers of time and effort. Terms like “une borne” (a kilometer), “se casser” (to leave), “filer” (to give), “crever” (to die), “se pointer” (to arrive), “cavaler” (to run), “se grouiller,” “se magner” (to hurry), and “larver” (to loaf around) describe our movements, distances traveled, and attitudes towards travel.

Colloquial words: Work, Places, Activities

In the realm of employment, “une boîte” (a company), “un taf” (job), “le boss” (the boss), and “filer” (to leave) define our professional roles, while “bosser” (to work) and “se débrouiller” (to manage) depict our approach to work. In addition, “gamberger” (to think), “se planter” (to be mistaken), and “ténor” (expert) enrich our vocabulary in this setting. Exploring the cityscape, “un bouchon” (a traffic jam) occurs when there are lots of “bagnole,” “caisse,” “tire” (car), and “tacot” (taxi).

Mots Familiers: Money

Within the realm of finance, “le pognon” (cash) and “le flouze” (cash) symbolise our economic resources, while “le fric” (money), “les sous” (money), “le blé” (cash), “une balle” (a franc), and “le pèze” (money) represent our daily expenses and indulgences. Adding words like “claquer” and “flamber” (to spend) further enriches our vocabulary related to money and finances. Terms like “marchander” (to negotiate) and “être à sec,” “être dans la dèche” (without money) describe difficult financial situations.

Colloquial words: Food

Exploring the culinary landscape, we can “bouffer” (eat) “un casse-dalle” (a snack) and “un casse-croûte” (a snack), “patate” (potato), “bidoche” (meat), and “sauciflard” (sausage). Meanwhile, “picorer” and “grignoter” (to nibble) and “la flotte” (water) describe our eating and drinking habits. Terms like “une tambouille,” “bouffe” (a meal), and “bâfrer” (to gobble) enrich our vocabulary related to food and dining experiences.

Mots Familiers: Drinking

In the realm of beverages, “un troquet” (a bar) and “un rad” (a bar) offer social settings for drinking and socialising, while “picoler” (to drink) and “la mousse” (beer foam) depict the act of drinking. Additional words like “un canard” (a drink), “un canon” (a drink), and “être saoul(e)” (to be drunk) offer further insight into drinking culture and social settings.

Colloquial words: Leisure

Engaging in leisure activities, “une balade” (a stroll) and “une gratte” (a guitar) offer avenues for relaxation and enjoyment, while “la zic” (music) and “une clope” (a cigarette) provide indulgences. Terms like “un cuistot” (a cook), “se marrer” (to laugh), and “se peler” (to be cold) depict leisurely activities and their associated emotions.


In conclusion, the realm of “mots familiers” in the French language offers a colourful tapestry of everyday life, reflecting the myriad experiences and interactions that shape our existence. From personal relationships to daily routines, from work to leisure, these colloquial words serve as linguistic landmarks, guiding us through the landscape of our lived experiences. Through their familiarity and vibrancy, they enrich our interactions and deepen our understanding of the world around us.

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