French Swear Words – The Verb Foutre

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

French swear words. What does the French verb “foutre” mean? Foutre is an old French verb, now used for “faire” or “mettre”. It’s common in slang and insults.

I don’t mean to offend anybody, and I’m sorry to be using vulgar French swear words, but as a French learner, it is important that you understand these French slang expressions, and even more so the intent behind them. However, I would encourage you to stay away from them.

If French slang sounds natural from a French native, slang is always stronger and has a much bigger impact when it is used by a foreigner.

The French Verb Foutre: Conjugation

The French verb “foutre” is very common in French. It’s actually a very old verb, which nowadays mostly means “faire” or “mettre”… and other less attractive meanings!

It’s part of a zillion French expressions, all of them being more or less vulgar, definitely slang… It can be used as a swear word, a curse an insult as well.

  1. Je fous
  2. Tu fous
  3. Il fout
  4. Nous foutons
  5. Vous foutez
  6. Ils foutent

Passé Composé: j’ai foutu
Adjective: foutu/e/s
Noun: un fouteur, une fouteuse
Old French noun: le foutre = sperm

Most of the time, the verb “foutre” can be replaced by “ficher” to make is a bit more colloquial… Je m’en fiche = I don’t care.

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17 French Swear Expressions With the French Verb Foutre

Here are a few uses of the verb “foutre”.

Notice “foutre” can be reflexive “se foutre” – and please forgive the vulgar expressions but all these are very common, and you will come across them in movies etc…

1. Elle ne fout rien de ses journées – she doesn’t do anything all day long

2. Cette fille est vraiment bien foutue – this girl has a really nice body

3. Il a laissé l’appartement en foutoir – he left the apartment in a total mess

4. Je m’en fous – I don’t give a shit

5. C’est le roi du je-m’en-foutisme – impossible to translate but literally, this means he is the king of the “I don’t give a shit” movement

6. On s’en fout comme de l’an quarante – another crazy idiom meaning “we don’t care”: literally, “we care as much about it as the year forty”.

7. J’en ai rien à foutre – I don’t give a rat’s ass

8. C’est foutu ! – it’s the end, it’s finished, it’s dead

9. Foutue bagnole ! fucking car!

10. Fous-moi la paix – let me be!

11. Je ne sais pas ce que j’ai foutu de mes clés – I don’t know what I did with my keys (foutre as faire)

12. Ils ont foutu le camp avec l’argent – they ran away with the money

13. Tu te fous de moi ? Tu te fous de ma gueule ? Are you joking? (at my expense) – Are you pulling my leg? – Are you kidding me?

14. Ce sont des fouteurs de merde – they are trouble makers

15. À la fin, il s’est foutu en l’air – in the end, he killed himself

16. Ce film m’a foutu les jetons (slang) / ce film m’a foutu les boules (vulgar) – this movie scared the shit out of me

17. Va te faire foutre – fuck off (much stronger in French – a real insult, never to be used lightly)

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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