Verlan - That "other" Slang

Verlan is a concept that does not exist in English. It is a type of slang developed by French people who needed to use code words to communicate about private, often illegal matters around their parents or people of authority, and some of it found its way into mainstream vocabulary. Verlan comes from l'envers, which means the opposite in French. These words are flipped around kind of like pig Latin, and then the spelling is modified to make the pronunciation match French phonetics. Sometimes they are even flipped back again when the word becomes too well-known. Just as with the other slang words, these should not be used in a classroom or other formal setting. Here is a sampling of some Verlan words:

  • Looc came from cool
  • Ouf came from fou = crazy
  • Feuk came from keuf came from flic = cop
  • Meuf came from femme = woman
  • Tromé came from métro
  • Relou came from lourd = heavy
  • Ouam came from moi = me
  • Ouat came from toi = you
  • Teuf came from fête = party
  • Réssoi came from soirée = party
  • Chébran came from branché = trendy
  • Zyva came from vas-y = go ahead
  • Vénère came from énervé = annoyed
  • Veurg came from grave = serious
  • Chanmé came from méchant = naughty
  • Zarbi came from bizarre = weird
  • Chelou came from louche = fishy
  • Zicmu came from musique = music
  • Céfran came from français = French
  • Keum came from mec = guy
  • Goutdé came from dégouté = disgusted
  • Keupon came from punk
  • Zonblou came from blouson = jacket
  • Reme came from mère = mother
  • Béton came from tomber = to fall


  1. Gee, I'm having enough trouble with regular French to even recognize these if I should happen to hear them. Interesting though-sort of like Cockney in England.

  2. Definitely, I would never recognize Cockney if I heard it!


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