Thursday, May 06, 2010

Big Bad Words - Little Children

Young children love French 'naughty words' or gros mots...For bilingual English/French families living in France the most commonly heard are body words:

pipi (pee or wee-wee)
caca (poo)
zizi (willy)
fesse (bottom)
prout-prout (literally the sound of farting)
crotte de nez (snot)
crotte de chien (dog-poo).
caca-boudin (poo-black-pudding-sausage),
Beurk! means ‘yucky’, or a nasty smell or taste
Conjugating verbs like ‘to fart’ (péter) and ‘to burp’ (roter) are popular!
To insult each other young kids can say grosse vache or gros cochon (fat cow/pig).
pouet-pouet camembert is a silly phrase that young children say, something like 'na-na-ni-na-na' in English.

Words which your child should be careful of using in front of sensitive adults, neighbours and teachers are Dégage! (Get out of my way!), and Ferme ta geule! (Shut up!) Some words should be avoided, for example, cul (stronger word for bottom/arse), which can be considered vulgar, and con (stupid/idiot) is insulting.

If you are not sure about rude words your child is using do ask your child’s teacher or a French friend whether they think their vocabulary is suitable. Parents do need to be clear about the difference between ‘naughty’ words used between friends or in the playground, and words which should not be used in front of the teacher or adults

*See The Connexion newspaper (May 2010) for full version of swearwords for young children and Questions from parents about swearing.

See also: les-gros mots des- tout-petits (Titou le Lapinou)
A silly song about gros mots for little children.
Useful dictionary website, which gives translations of colloquial French/English words with a forum for questions on language or gros mots.

Caca boudin’ by Stephanie Blake (5 €,
A story in French for young children about a rabbit who likes the word caca-boudin…

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