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Everything about the French phrase "C'est chelou"

Get ready to learn all the things you ever wanted to know about the funny French sentence "C'est chelou". To be clear, it includes a detailed guide of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. And that's not all, we also added some useful informations like slow pronunciation audio, synonyms, dialogue example and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : It's weird

  • Register : Informal - Funny - Slang

How to pronounce?



  • IPA : / sɛ ʃəlu /

aesthetic french quote cest chelou

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C'est chelou meaning


The literal meaning is:

This French expression is coming from the word "Louche" (Suspicious) which got twisted through a slang mechanism called "verlan". So the word's syllables are reversed: Lou-che → Che-lou.

But what is even more interesting here, it's that in people's minds, the meaning of these two words ended up being different. "Louche" means "Shady / Suspicious" while "Chelou" means just "Weird".

So now, "C'est chelou" is something we use in informal contexts to say "It's weird" without necessarily implying that there is something shady.

How to use

Use it exactly like you would use "It's weird" in English, except that it's much more familiar and not suited for formal environments. If you want something more formal, you can say: "C'est étrange" (It's strange) or another variation listed in the "Synonyms" section below.

One example: you tell a friend that you had the same dream 5 days in a row, so you add at the end of your sentence: "C'est chelou non ?" (It's weird right?). And your friend would answer: "Oui, c'est chelou !" (Yes, it's weird!)

To highlight how weird this is, you can add "Grave" before "Chelou". For example: "C'est grave chelou !" (It's so weird!)


↓ Example in a story with slow French audio ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Conversation inconfortable

Uncomfortable conversation

ClaudeTon ami t'a dit qu'il t'aime ?!
Your friend told you he loves you?!
LéaOui, c'est embarrassant...
Yes, it's embarrassing...
ClaudeEn effet, c'est une situation compliquée.
Indeed, it's a complicated situation.
LéaJe ne sais pas quoi faire. C'est chelou maintenant...
I don't know what to do. It's weird now...
ClaudeJe suis d'accord, c'est chelou.
I agree, it's weird.
LéaJe veux être honnête avec toi... je veux le rencontrer une dernière fois.
I want to be honest with you... I want to meet him one last time.
ClaudePour quelle raison ?
For what reason?
LéaPour lui dire au revoir.
To say goodbye to him.
ClaudeTu crois que c'est une bonne idée ?
You think this is a good idea?


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