Funny kid friendly bad words & funny French insults kids love say in France

Here’s a collection of innocent substitutes for French bad words, funny French insults and Euphemisms little kids in France love to say. (with audio pronunciation)

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 15, 2024  
bad words in French kids say: curse words
bad words in French kids say: curse words

In France, like in most places, kids have unique expressions and words they like to throw around when they need to express feelings of hurt, frustration, surprise or anger.

These words and expressions might not be found in formal French classroom books, but they can be useful, especially if you’re raising a child in France.

Let’s explore some kid-friendly, funny French insults and expressions that kids as young as three love using at home and on the playground as substitutes for juicier, offensive French terms. 

If you’re learning French, knowing how to express yourself will help  avoid embarrassing mistakes. For example, if you want to say, “That sucks,” don’t say “ça suce,” which means to suck sexually, as in fellatio.

French minced oaths: Polite French euphemisms parents & kids use to replace bad words

French swear words little kids love to say in France

Adults and parents in France often use minced oaths, especially in front of children.

A minced oath is a type of euphemism that replaces offensive or inappropriate language, such as profanity and taboo words and phrases, with less offensive substitute words and phrases.

These minced oaths often resemble the original offensive words and sound humorous or nonsensical.

Kids then pick up these milder expressions from adults or their friends and use them in various situations to express their emotions without using harsh swear words or insults. The choice of minced oath varies depending on the child’s age and exposure to different expressions.

You already know quite a few minced oaths in English, such as the following: 

  • Gosh! → God
  • Oh shoot →  Oh Shit
  • Darn!→ Damn
  • Dang it!→ Damn it
  • Holy moly→ Holy Shit
  • Balderdash→ Bull shit
  • Shut the front doorShut the “F” up
  • Fudge! “F” word

Funny French insults, and French swear words little kids love to say in France

 Let’s explore some French minced oaths used by adults and children that replace “Putain” and “Merde,” two of France’s most commonly used swear words.

  • Merde means Shit
  • Putain is a French cuss word that’s been around since the 11th century. It’s from the Latin word “putidus,” meaning “rotten” or “stinking.” Spanish and Portuguese have a related term, “puta.” It could be considered the equivalent of saying the “F-bomb” in English. 

1) MINCE! (instead of merde)

Mince = Literally means thin.


Mince! French swear words kids love to say in France:

“Ah, Mince!” is a French slang word that’s been used to replace the French word “merde” (Shit) for a long time. Saying “Mince” instead of “Merde” is an easy transition since they both start with the letter “M.”

It’s often used to express disappointment or dissatisfaction.

Typically, when you say “Mince,” you usually add “Ah” before the word “Mince,” like “Oh shoot!”

  • Ahhh Mince! j’ai raté le tram.
  • Oh, Shoot, I missed the tram!

2) PUNAISE! (instead of putain)


Punaise  = thumbtack

Punaise in French has two meanings. It’s a thumbtack/pushpin, but it can also be a bed bug (punaise de lit).

Children and adults use this term as an alternative to the more vulgar French swear word “Putain.” Remember, “Putain” is like saying the “F” word in English.

The origins of this word are unclear. Some say it’s from the French provençal language word “puteo” (to stink). Others think it’s just a made-up word that sounds like the word it’s trying to replace. Either way, it’s pretty popular in France for preschoolers and adults. 

  • Oh punaise, je n’ai plus de beurre pour mon gateau. 
  • Oh shoot, I don’t have any butter for my cake

3) PURÉE (instead of putain)

Purée = mash or puree. As in mashed potatoes (purée de pomme de terre). 


The word purée is also used as an alternative to the offensive French swear word “Putain.”

According to the Dictionnaire Historique de la Langue Française, purée” has been used as an expression of emotion since 1895 and could be a shortened form of an older expression “être dans la purée,” (to be in the purree (or mash), to describe being in a predicament.

  • Oh purée, je n’ai pas fait mes devoirs!
  • Oh boy, I didn’t do my homework!

Outdated Minced oaths



This is funny sounding old, rarely used word minced oath used to express surprise. It’s the equivalent of saying something old-fashioned like  “gee willickers” or “gadzooks.”

In a roundabout way, “Saperlipomette” is the diminutive form of  “Saprisiti,” a minced oath my 90-year-old aunt in Quebec loves to say. It comes from the blasphemous term “sacristi” by replacing the letter “C” with a “P” (Source.)Sacristi refers to someone responsible for the upkeep of a church’s sacred objects and clothes. In Quebec, religious terms like this are still widely used. 

  • “Saperlipopette, elle ne sais pas comment conduire.”
  • Gee Willickers, she doesn’t know how to drive.

5) Sacrebleu, or Sacré bleu

This is what many non-native French speakers think French people go around saying, but in reality, this is an outdated minced oath that replaces an old French swear word, Sacré Dieu, “holy God.” It’s like saying “dagnabit” or “what in tarnation.”  You’re more likely to come across this term in older texts or movies. 

Funny French insults containing Taboo Body Parts, body Fluids, and excrement

In general, any type of body secretion, foul odour, and childish words for private parts are fun French insults for kids in France.

*Some of the words and expressions on this list are said by adults, too. Others are strictly things kids say. 

1) Caca Boudin = Caca Sausage / Poo poo sausage

\Kah-Kah Boo-Dain\

“Caca Boudin,” or (Caca sausage,) is usually the first kid-friendly bad word substitute used by kids in France as young as 2 or 3 years old because it has the word “caca” in it. 

The expression has only existed since the 1970s, but it’s infiltrated the French language and is seriously prolific. If you have a baby in France, it’s only a matter of time before they end up saying “caca boudin.” Some adults, usually parents, even use it: guilty as charged.

The expression is very useful and can be used as an adjective and sometimes as a noun.

  • What do you want to eat? “Caca Boudin!” 
  • What do you think of the book? It’s a “caca boudin!
  • No j’en veux pas, espece de caca boudin!
    • No I don’t want to, you piece of “caca boudin!
CACA BOUDIN (French Edition)

French children's book (2-5 years old). The book begins with this phrase: Once upon a time, there was a little rabbit who repeatedly said "caca boudin," from evening to morning! Until he meets a wolf...

Il était une fois un petit lapin qui répétait « caca boudin » du soir au matin ! Jusqu’à ce qu’il rencontre un loup… 

Author: Stephanie Blake
Shop Now
03/01/2024 08:03 pm GMT

The Caca boudin oh song

Here’s a song that is surprisingly catchy called caca boudin oh. 


Caca boudin isn’t the only way kids in France like the term “caca.”

Caca means the same thing in French as in English, and kids love to use it in various ways to insult one another. 

  • T’es un caca qui pue du derrière. = You’re a caca whose behind stinks.
  • Espèce de caca ! = You piece of caca!

3) GROS CACA = Big Poop

  • Non, c’est toi le gros caca. = Noooo, you’re the big caca!
  • T’est un gros caca! = Youre a big caca!

4) CROTTE = Doo Doo, Poop, Dung

“Crotte” is another word French kids get a kick out of saying and use as an insult.

  • Crotte de nez = boogers
  • crotte de chien = dog poop

5) PROUT = Fart

A popular way for little French kids to insult one another is to call someone a Fart, similar to how English-speaking children might call someone a “fart head.”

prout-prout is the onomatopoeia for the sound a fart makes.

  • T’es qu’un prout qui sent des pieds.  = your a fart that smells like feet
  • T’es un caca prout = You’re a caca fart

6) PIPI = Peepee, or wee-wee

  • T’est un PipiCacaProut de fesses
  • You’re a peepee, caca fart butt.

7) ZIZI = Weener or Wee-wee


Zizi is a cute term of endearment that’s widely used and refers to the word penis. Children love to insult one another, calling each other wee-wees.

  • Toi, t’est une tête de zizi = You’re weener head


Tête de linotte = Bird Brain, scatterbrain

\Tet – Duh – Lee – Nut\

The French expression “Tête de linotte,” which translates to “Linnet head,” is a playful way to call someone an airhead or scatterbrain, but it can also be used to insult the intelligence of someone, similar to the English expression bird brain.

A linnet is a small bird known for forgetting where it’s hidden its food or nesting materials. 

GROS PÉRPÈRE = Big Grandpa


Pérpère is a tender French term of endearment that children call their grandfather, like gramps. Adults can use it as a term of endearment for animals and babies to imply they are cute and calm like a grandfather. Or it can be used pejoratively to mean someone is an old-timer. 

When kids use it, they add the word “gros,” which means big or fat, and it magically turns into an insult. But it doesn’t imply old; it means that a person is tubby or a fat slob. 

  • T’es un gros pépère.
    • You’re a big fat slob.
  • Gros pépère qui pue du derrière. 
    • Fat slob whose behind stinks

GROSSE PATATE POURRIE = Big fat rotten potato


If you want to get under the skin of another kid on the playground and can’t think of anything, just call them a big, fat, rotten potato. 

  • T’es une grosse patate pourrie.
  • You’re a big fat rotten potato.

“Espèce de cornichon” or “Espèce de patate” = “piece of chornichon” or “piece of potato”

Instead of calling someone a piece of poo, call them a piece of potato or a piece of cornichon. I’ve also heard the expression you piece of spinach, which is really cute. 

  • Espèce de cornichon = /Eh-spess-duh-Korn-knee-Shown/
  • Espèce de patate = /Eh-spess-duh-pah-tat/
  • Espèce d’épinard = /Eh-spess-day-pee-nar/
Listen to all three

If you want to emphasize the insult further, you can add “gros” (big) – “gros cornichon” or “grosse patate,” or conversely, “petit” (small) – “petit cornichon” or “petite patate.”



Calling someone a fleabag in French has the same connotation as it does in English — filthy, dirty, disgusting, etc. 

  • Degage, sac à puces
  • Get out, you fleabag. Or move you fleabag.


\Pwèt Pwèt-Cam-mom-Bear\

Pouêt-pouêt is not a real word. It’s a French onomatopoeia for Honk-honk or beep-beep, and Camembert is the round cheese that looks similar to brie cheese.

Related25 Funny French Animal Sounds And Noises + Video Pronunciation

This childish schoolyard burn is a not-so-subtle way to tell someone, “Shut up, I told you so, neener neener neener.”

In English, it has the same effect as the sing-song way kids say, “Neener neener neener neeeeener!” or “Ha ha ha ha hahaaa! ”

This funny French insult is usually accompanied by a particular hand gesture, the same gesture used when saying “honk honk” in French.


You hold your hand in front of you and touch your thumbs and forefingers together as if gently squeezing Camembert between your fingers to see if it’s ripe. It’s the same gesture you do for squeezing an old horn. 

The origins of this childish insult aren’t clear, but it may be a shorted form of an older expression, “Ferme ta Boite à camembert, tu l’ouvriras pour le dessert” (Close your camembert box, you will open it for dessert), which has spawned other variations of the original phrase.

  1. Ferme ta boîte à camemembert
  2. Camembert. 

See the next section for an explanation.

FERME TA BOÎTE (Shut your box)


“Ferme ta boîte” is extremely popular in Quebec, and it’s what my friends and I would say if we wanted to be extremely rude to someone and tell them to shut up without using the more vulgar “Ferme ta gueule!”

It may be a shortened version of “Ferme ta boîte à camembert” (close your camembert box), but there are conflicting sources.

C’est celui qui dit qui y est

The ultimate comeback to an insult is saying, “cest celui qui dit qui y est,” which means “he who says it, is it.” Idiomatically, it’s like saying, “I know you are, but what am I?”

/say suh-loo-we key dee key ee yay/ 

Oh darn, it’s time to say goodbye. 

I hope you had a good laugh at discovering these cute French minced oaths and socially acceptable kid insults.

Here’s a cute video (in French) of kids getting tricked into admitting all the naughty, bad French words they say. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.


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