Embarrassing French Dirty Talk Accidents: Lost In Translation Expressions

By Annie André

Some innocent-looking French phrases and expressions don’t mean what you think they do. They could actually be French sex phrases, curse words or French dirty talk: some are vulgar to the French ear while others are flirty and harmless


French Expressions Lost In Translation: Sexy French Dirty Talk

You know what you want to say in English, and you think you know how to translate it into French.

That’s Great!

Unfortunately, exact word for word translations don’t always match up in French with their English counterparts. One small slip up, and you could accidentally tell your French Friends they’re  “good lovers” rather than “good cooks.”

To help you avoid embarrassing lost in translation mistakes, I’ve put together a list of French phrases and expressions English speakers might think to mean one thing but are actually French dirty talk, French curse words or phrases with sexual connotations. 

Related: Worlds Best Lovers By Country: Are French Men The Hottest Lovers?

HOW TO SAY WHAT YOU REALL WANT TO SAY IN FRENCH

For each of these dirty French phrases, curse words and sex expressions, I’ve given you the literal translation and how to say what you want to say in a non-sexual way if you don’t want to sound like a sex-craved foreigner.

picture of a goat or ram in a lavender field

1- (I Am Horny) = Je Suis Chaud(e)

NOT ≠ I Am Hot 

Scenario: Imagine being on a train in France and saying to the person sitting next to you, “Je suis chaud(e), thinking you’re telling them you’re hot, but you’re actually telling them you’re horny

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

“Je suis chaud” for a man and “je suis chaude” for a woman are both literal translations from English to French of the phrase “I am hot.”

The problem is in French; you don’t use the verb “To Be” (I am, you are, he is, etc.) to say “I am hot” as you do in English. Doing so turns this benign phrase into a French expression with a sexual connotation that can get you into some pretty embarrassing situations.

How to say “I feel hot in French” in a non-sexual way

To say “I am hot” or “I feel hot” In French, you have to use the verb TO HAVE “AVOIR” (I have, you have, he/she has). 

  • “J’ai chaud” if you’re a man (pronounced zhay Show)
  • “J’ai chaude” if you’re a woman. (pronounced zhay Showd)

J’ai chaud(e) literally translates to “I HAVE HOT,” which is why this phrase confuses English speakers.

French bull dog on bed of roses

2- (She’s Good In Bed) = Elle est bonne.

NOT ≠ Good At Something

Elle est bonne =”She is good in bed,” “She is a good lover,” “she is hot”, “she has a good body,” etc.

T’es bonne=  “You’re good in bed” or “You’re a good lover.” etc. 

Scenario: You’re at an art showing in France admiring a painting by a talented female artist, and you say to the person next to you, “wow, she is good” (Elle est bonne). The person next to you snickers and rolls her eyes because you just said that the artist was a good lay or good in bed. 

LOST IN TRANSLATION

 “Elle est bonne”- literally “she is good,” but idiomatically, it’s a vulgar, macho and pejorative thing to say in French to a woman, and it could get you slapped. 

The issue is with the French word for good (“Bonne” -pronounced BUN), which is the feminine version of the word “bon.” 

Using the word “bonne” alone in a phrase to say that a woman is good at something turns this complimentary statement into a sexually charged Dirty French phrase. 

How to say “she is good” at something in a non-sexual way: 

To remove any ambiguity and sexual meaning from French phrases using “Bonne,” add the object of the thing she is good at. 

Elle est bonne [+ object]

  • She is a good cook= Elle est une bonne cuisinière .
  • You are good at drawing, or you draw well—T’es bonne en dessin.

Other common ways to say a woman is good at something.

  • Elle est douée = She’s talented or good at something
  • Elle est forte = Literally means she is strong but idiomatically means she is good at something.

3- (Make Love Again) = Remettre le couvert

NOT ≠ Put Away The Utensils

Scenario: You’re finishing up the dishes, and you ask your French boyfriend to put away the utensils with your friend Chantal. “Est ce que tu peux remettre le couvert avec Chantal?” They both stop and stare at you in disbelief because you just asked them, “If they could sleep together again.” 

LOST IN TRANSLATION

  • “Remettre” is a French verb that can mean anything from  “put back” and “put away” to “remit” and “return.” 
  • “Couvert” is is the French word for utensils, silverware and cutlery, but it can also mean “place setting.”

When these two words are used together, “Remettre le couvert,” it changes the meaning altogether. 

How to ask someone to put away the utensil

  • Rangez les couverts = Put away the utensils
  • Mets les couverts = Set the table
  • Je mets le couvert pour cinq= I’ll set the table for 5

Dirty talk in French Cat hissing

4- (I Want An Orgasm) = Je veux Jouir

NOT ≠ I Enjoy Doing Something

Je veux Jouir = I want an orgasm, I want to cum.

Je veux te faire jouir =I want to make you cum

Scenario: Your French friend just cooked the most delicious homemade meal for you and asked if you enjoyed your meal. In your best French accent, you proudly say, “oui j’ai joui.”  Don’t be surprised if he spits up his water because you just said, “I had an orgasm.”

LOST IN TRANSLATION

The definition of the French verb “Jouir” is “To Enjoy” or “To Benefit from.”  However, if you leave the object out of the phrase, the meaning changes into a dirty French phrase you wouldn’t want to say in front of a bunch of school children.

Most French people wouldn’t use the verb Jouir because it’s a very formal way to say you enjoyed something. For example, if you say “je veux jouir de l’instant,” this means I want to enjoy the moment, but idiomatically it’s like saying Carpe diem.

How to say I want to enjoy something in a non-sexual way

  • “Je veux profiter de ma vie” = I want to enjoy my life. 
  • “J’ai bien aimer” = I really liked it / I really enjoyed it. 

Jouir [+ object] French people rarely use Jouir in everyday language, but here it is in case you want to use it. 

    • Je veux jouir de l’instant : Carpe Diem / I want to enjoy the moment.
    • Je veux jouir de la vie = I want to enjoy life
    • Il jouit lire = He enjoys reading.

JOUER looks like JOUIR

Jouer is the French verb to play. 

One slip up, and you could say the wrong thing. One is pronounced [Zhoo-Ay], and the other is pronounced [Zhoo-Ear]. 

Dirty talk in French cat likcing

5- (I Want To Eat You Out) = Je veux te manger

NOT ≠ I Want To Eat You Up

Scenario: You just started dating the sweetest, most adorable French woman. You turn to her and say in French, “I could eat you up.”  The only problem is, “Je veux te manger” has a double meaning in French, which means “to eat you out” in a sexual way. Ooops. 

LOST IN TRANSLATION

One small slip up of a pronoun or an omission of a certain word turns this innocent phrase into French dirty talk. 

How to say “I want to eat you up” in a non-sexual way

Add “tout cru” to the end of the sentence. 

  •  Je vais te manger tout cru =  I will eat you raw. This sounds sexual in English, but French Mothers often say this to children. It’s a cute way to say I could eat you alive.
  • Je pourrais te dévorer tout cru. = I could devour you raw
  • Je pourrais vous manger tout cru! = I could eat you raw

6- (I Want To F**K You) = Je veux te baiser

NOT ≠ I Want To Kiss You

Scenario: You want to impress your French grandmother, who you haven’t seen in years and ask if you can kiss her. The French word for a kiss is “baiser,” so you say, “Je peux te baiser.”  Grandma recoils and gives you a look of horror. You just said you wanted to “DO the nasty” with your grandmother. How embarrassing. 

LOST IN TRANSLATION

The word “Baiser has two different meanings in French.  If you use it as a verb, it’s a Dirty French phrase, but it’s a harmless kiss if you use it as a noun. 

  • VERB:  “Baiser” = to fuck.
  • NOUN: “un baiser” = a kiss.

How to ask or say I want to kiss you in French

venus de milo paris

7- (The Breast in Paris) = Le Sein à Paris

NOT ≠ The Seine In Paris 

Scenario: In your best French accent, you tell your tour guide, “I can’t wait to see the Seine in Paris.” But you mispronounce the word “Seine” and use “le” instead of “la.” Now you’ve changed the meaning altogether and just told your guide you want to see “a breast in Paris.’

LOST IN PRONUNCIATION

La Seine (Pronounced, La Senn) is the river that runs through Paris. 

Les Sein(s )(female breasts)

S-E-I-N : The N sound is nasally from the back of your mouth. It’s a sound that doesn’t exist in English. Click below to hear it. 

Pink Pussy cat power French beret image

8- (Stroke My Pussy) = Caresser Ma Chatte

NOT ≠ Pet My Cat

Scenario: You’re French friends come over, and your cat jumps on his lap. You say go ahead, “Caresser ma chatte” (pet my cat) using the feminine article because your cat is a female. Your friend starts to laugh uncontrollably, and you have no idea why. You just said a dirty French phrase and told him to “Stroke my pussy”

DOUBLE MEANING:

In French, a male cat is “un chat,” and a female cat is “une chatte.”  “Chatte” has the same double meaning in French as it does in English: pussy cat.

How to say pet my cat

Just stick with the masculine “caresser mon chat,” even if your cat is female. You’ll avoid accidentally saying something that sounds sexual. 

Throw yourself in the air

9- (To Have Sex / Shag) = S‘envoyer en l’air

NOT ≠ Throw Oneself In The Air

This French expression literally means to throw oneself in the air. It sounds cute enough, but it has a double meaning, but not in a vulgar way. 

LOST IN TRANSLATION 

This slang expression metaphorically links the pleasure of sex and the ascent to heaven. It can be used to imply having sex, or it can mean something similar to enjoying something immensely and touching the sky. You’ll often see it used in a non-sexual way in articles about the sky and roller coasters like this one. S’envoyer en l’air à Seattle pour moins de 30 dollars

French bull dog dressed like a whore

10-(She dresses like a slut) = Elle s’habille comme une cochonne

NOT ≠ [ She dresses like a pig ]

T’est une cochonne =You’re a slut, you’re a whore

LOST IN TRANSLATION 

The French word for pig is Cochon (for a man) and Cochonne (for a female). 

In English, telling someone, they dress like a pig isn’t very polite.  However, if you translate it word for word to French, it means something even worse, if you’re talking to a woman because the female pig “cochonne” has a double meaning in French  “slut” or “whore”. 

5 ways to tell someone they don’t dress well or they’re messy dressers. 

  • “Tu t’habilles comme un plouc” = You dress like a slob/hillbilly/redneck.
  • “Tu t’habilles comme un routie” = you dress like a truck driver. 
  • “Tu t’habilles effroyablement” = you dress appallingly.
  • “Tu t’habilles ainsi?” = That’s how you’re dressing?
  • “Tu t’habilles mal” = You dress badly.

somersault in the sand

11- (Do You Want To Fool Around With Me?) = Tu Veux Faire Des Galipettes Avec Moi?

NOT≠ Do Some Somersault With Me

Je veux faire des galipettes tous les jour avec toi = I want to make love with you every day. 

On peux faire des galipettes = Can we fool around?

LOST IN TRANSLATION 

Une galipette really is the French word for a somersault, but when you use the plural form, it usually changes it from a fun exercise into naughty somersaults in the bedroom. 

How to say do a somersault

  • Faire une galipette = Do a Somersault
  • Faire la roulade = do Somersault
  • Faire une culbute = do a Somersault

dog looking sultry

12- (I Want To Make Love or Give Into Temptation) = Je Veux Croquer la pomme

Not ≠ Bite Into The Apple

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Croquer la pomme literally means “bite into the apple. Idiomatically it means to give in to temptation (and have sex) as Eve did in the Garden of Eden when she took a bite out of the forbidden fruit (apple). 


Sharing is caring: please consider saving this pin to Pinterest.

PIN sexy French phrases horny

PIN sexy French phrases horny

Boring Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them to buy something, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you which helps me buy more croissants. Merci for your support.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

We Should Be Friends

__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"9b988":{"name":"Main accent","parent":-1},"5b927":{"name":"Accent Light","parent":"9b988","lock":{"lightness":1,"saturation":1}}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default","value":{"colors":{"9b988":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-0)"},"5b927":{"val":"rgb(241, 245, 248)","hsl_parent_dependency":{"h":209,"l":0.96,"s":0.33}}},"gradients":[]},"original":{"colors":{"9b988":{"val":"rgb(47, 138, 229)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.77,"l":0.54,"a":1}},"5b927":{"val":"rgb(243, 246, 249)","hsl_parent_dependency":{"h":209,"s":0.33,"l":0.96,"a":1}}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"3e1f8":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default Palette","value":{"colors":{"3e1f8":{"val":"var(--tcb-local-color-9b988)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.78,"l":0.01,"a":1}}},"gradients":[]},"original":{"colors":{"3e1f8":{"val":"rgb(19, 114, 211)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.83,"l":0.45}}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
Sign Up