Road rage ... in French

Slang and swearing are dodgy areas for the speaker of a foreign language. If you get it wrong you risk seeming ridiculous or just incomprehensible.

Road RageIt can be useful, though, to be able to swear effectively ... and perhaps no more so than when driving. And help is at hand so you can get it right.

A Harris poll of motorists for the magazine Question Auto listed in order of popularity the four cuss words used most often by French drivers.

These are connard, putain, merde and enculé. We’ve had some fun in the office discussing the translation of these terms – there are stronger and weaker versions – but don’t worry about that. If you’ve got them in mind you’ll be able to give as good as you get.

And remember – as we’ve pointed out previously – Dupont swears more readily than most foreigners. Recall, too, our report not so long ago of the young priest in Antibes who was asked by a Nice-Matin interviewer to specify his favourite swearword: “Merde!” he answered, without a moment’s hesitation.


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