No products in the cart.

French Vocabulary

13 Expressions With God in French

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis on August 15, 2016
Camille Chevalier-Karfis

God in French is Dieu. There are many French God expressions and idioms: I’ll translate them and also explain some cultural points about their use in France.

French has many expressions with the word god, however, they are not used with the intention of praising the Lord, but rather as sayings, idioms.

These French God expressions may be used by a non-believer as well as people who do believe in God. In France, believers in God would not be offended by the use of the word God in this context.

How do You Say God in French?

God in French is dieu. It’s a masculine noun, the plural form is les dieux, x silent.

The word god in French can be spelled with an uppercase or lowercase D, depending whether it refers to any god, or the God of the Christians, which most of these expressions refer to, France being traditionally a Catholic country.

Common synonyms for God in French are :

  1. le Seigneur (Lord),
  2. le PĂšre (Father),
  3. le Créateur (Creator).

Une divinité is a divinity.

How do You Address God in French: Tu or Vous?

The French used to use “vous” to talk to God, but it has switched to “tu”, as you would now normally talk to your father. Some people still use “vous” as a form of respect, but the standard in the prayers is “tu”.

I will now list the most common French expressions using the word God in French.

1 – Oh my God in French = Mon Dieu !

This expression is used to express surprise, a shock, just as it is in English.

  • J’ai une mauvaise nouvelle Ă  t’apprendre : je suis malade.
    I have bad news for your: I’m sick.
  • Oh mon Dieu ! Tu es sĂ»re ?
    Oh my God! Are you sure?

2 – Thank God in French = Dieu Merci

We use that one as well.

  • J’ai un cancer. Mais c’est juste le dĂ©but et les mĂ©decins sont confiants.
    I have cancer. But it’s only the beginning and doctors are confident.
  • Dieu merci : est-ce que tu souffres ?
    Thank God: are you in pain?

3 – GrĂące Ă  Dieu = Another Way of Saying Thank God in French

  • GrĂące Ă  Dieu, ce n’est pas trop grave.
    Thank God, it’s not too serious.

 4 – Dieu Soit louĂ© = Praise the Lord in French

Let me insist that in common French language, this expression is no longer an invitation to actually praise the Lord, but an expression of relief, much more like “Thank God” or “Thank goodness” in English.

However, if you actually wanted to give praise to God, you could say “Dieu soit louĂ©” or more likely “Rendons grĂące Ă  Dieu” or “Louons le Seigneur”… I invite you to visit my French Mass Prayer Recordings to find more French vocabulary for God, prayers etc…

  • Il y a eu un gros accident sur l’autoroute, mais Dieu soit louĂ©, il n’y a pas de blessĂ©s graves.
    There has been a large accident on the highway, but thank goodness, there were no serious injuries.

5 – Si Dieu le Veut = God Willing

Beginner Level

À Moi Paris Level 1

4.92 (105 reviews)

This means you have everything happens the way you want. It’s no longer very used in French.

  • Dans 5 heures, si Dieu le veut, on sera arrivĂ©s Ă  Paris.
    In 5 hours, God willing, we’ll be in Paris.

God French Expressions

I will now talk about idioms using the word God in French.

6 – Nom de Dieu = God! As a Swear Word

Here also, French and English are almost the same.

Believers would frown upon the name of God being used in vain. So, by some twisted way, God became a swear word. In French, we won’t just swear “God” but “Name of God” = “Nom de Dieu”.

It’s quite common and there are much worse swear terms nowadays…

  • Nom de Dieu ! Si j’attrape celui qui a Ă©crit ça sur mon mur, je, je… je ne sais pas ce que je ferai !
    God! If I catch the one who wrote this on my wall, I’ll, I’ll… I don’t know what I’ll do!

Note that strangely, JĂ©sus never made it as a swear word in France. Go figure. More French expressions with JĂ©sus.

7 – Une BĂȘte Ă  Bon Dieu = a Lady Bug

A ladybug’s common French name is “une coccinelle”, but we also sometimes call it  “une bĂȘte Ă  bon Dieu” (a beast of the good Lord).

  • Ce matin, j’ai vu une bĂȘte Ă  bon Dieu sur la fenĂȘtre.
    This morning, I saw a ladybug on the window.

8 – Les Voies de Dieu sont ImpĂ©nĂ©trables = God Works in Mysterious Ways

French and English share this idiom. It means that you cannot always explain everything.

  • Pourquoi les poules n’ont-elles pas de dent ? Les voies de Dieu sont impĂ©nĂ©trables.
    Why do chickens have no teeth? God works in mysterious ways

9 – Mieux Vaut Avoir Affaire Ă  Dieu qu’Ă  Ses Saints = Better Dealing With God Than With His Saints

This French idiom means that it’s better to go directly to the chief.

  • La vendeuse ne comprenait rien alors j’ai demandĂ© Ă  parler au directeur du magasin. Mieux vaut avoir affaire Ă  Dieu qu’Ă  ses saints.
    The salesperson didn’t understand anything, so I asked to talk to the store manager. Better dealing with God than with his saints.

10 – Du Feu de Dieu

This expression means great, fantastique.

  • J’ai fait rĂ©parer ma voiture, et maintenant elle marche du feu de Dieu.
    I had my car repaired and now it works great.

11 – Etre Beau Comme un Dieu = to be as Handsome as a God

  • J’ai enfin rencontrer le nouveau petit-copain d’Alice: il s’appelle JĂ©rĂŽme et il est beau comme un dieu !
    I at last met Alice’s new boyfriend. His name is JĂ©rĂŽme and he is quite a looker.

12 – Donner le Bon Dieu Sans Confession = Trust Someone Because he Looks Innocent

This idiom translates literally as “to give God without any confession” – so, so innocent that they can go to God without any need to confess for their sins, because they have none.

  • Moi, je pense JĂ©rĂŽme est une vraie canaille. Mais avec ses yeux d’ange, on lui donnerait le bon Dieu sans confession.
    I think that JérÎme is a scoundrel. But with his angel eyes, he looks so innocent.

13 – Il ne Faut pas Prendre les Enfants du Bon Dieu Pour des Canards Sauvages

The weirdest of all if you ask me, the origins of this idiom are unknown. But it’s the title of a movie and is used. Literally, it means “don’t take God’s children for wild ducks”. It means you shouldn’t judge people hastily, they may be trustworthy.

  • Tu ne connais pas bien JĂ©rĂŽme, alors qu’est-ce que tu en sais ? Il ne faut pas prendre les enfants du bon Dieu pour des canards sauvages.
    You don’t know JĂ©rĂŽme well, so what do you know? Don’t judge people before you know them.

Far for me to proselytize, but some of you may be interested in my recordings of the French Mass in French, or my easy bilingual learn French in context story about Christmas and how it is celebrate in France today.

If you enjoy learning French in context, check out French Today’s downloadable French audiobooks: French Today’s bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation. 

You’ll find exclusive mini lessons, tips, pictures and more daily on French Today’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages – so join me there!

Your first French Audiobook is on us! 😉

No email nor registration needed. Just download our 2.5-hour audiobook and see how different and efficient our method is. Available for iOS and Android as well as Mac and Windows.

Get Started for Free 2.5-hour audiobook recorded at 3 different speeds with full transcript