The French word "Couci-couça" revealed

Are you ready to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the basic word “Couci-couça”?

This include a detailed explanation of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. And because we want to help you on your learning journey, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like dialogue example, synonyms, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and if you are interested, on this page you will find more of these words pages and all our French words guides on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

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English translation

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does couci-couça mean?


It’s a funny way for French people to say “So-so“. And it’s very similar to another French expression with the same meaning “Comme-ci comme ça“.

How to use it

It’s useful when someone asks for your opinion, but you don’t have a firm point of view on the topic. When you can’t (or don’t want to) decide between “It’s lame” and ” It’s amazing“. It’s a very neutral answer.

For example, you are asked: “Tu aimes ma nouvelle coiffure ?” (Do you like my new haircut?) But if you have mixed feelings about it, then you can say: “Couci-couça” or “Comme-ci comme-ça” (So-so).

Fun stuff

Where is this coming from? To find the answer, we need to travel to… Italy!

In Italian: “Così così” means “So-so“, then French people started to use something similar: “Couci-couci“, which became with time: “Couci-couça“. That’s already far-fetched, right? But wait! That’s not over!

“Couci-couça” is an expression made of words that doesn’t exist in French (“Couci” and “Couça“). But it does sound a lot like words we actually use… Comme… ci… comme… ça !

Boom. This is how you create an expression!

N.B. Nowadays, you can still use “Couci-couça” but “Couci-couci” disappeared.

Synonyms and similarities

Example in a story with slow audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this word in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Accro au shopping
Shopping addict
Le printemps approchait, donc Emily décida de faire un peu de shopping.
Spring was coming, so Emily decided to do some shopping.
Elle proposa à Philippe de l’accompagner.
She offered Philippe to accompany her.
Philippe n’a jamais été un grand fan du shopping.
Philippe had never been a huge fan of shopping.
C’était même tout le contraire…
It was quite the opposite…
Il ne comprenait pas pourquoi les gens aimaient ça autant…
He didn’t understand why people liked that so much…
Mais il accepta quand même pour faire plaisir à Emily.
But he agreed anyway to please Emily.
Emily, contrairement à Philippe, adorait le shopping.
Emily, unlike Philippe, loved shopping.
C’était pour elle un passe-temps relaxant et agréable, un peu comme une méditation…
For her it was a relaxing and nice hobby, a bit like a meditation…
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