Discover the French idiom "Ferme-la"

You are going to discover all the things you have to know about the basic expression “Ferme-la”.

Are included a full definition of what it is and how you can use it in a conversation with an audio example. And because we care about you, we also sprinkled some super useful stuff like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonyms and more!

In addition, on this page you will find more of these expressions guides plus all our French words explained on this page. Ready to learn? Let’s go!

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English translation

Pronunciation guide

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does ferme-la mean?


The literal meaning is:

  • Ferme → Close/Shut
  • la→ it

How to use it

There are many ways to say “Shut up” in French and even if it’s never a pleasant thing to say, some ways are (much) more harsh than others.

You can find all the possibilities in the section “Synonyms” below, but basically if you want to say it “Politely” you can say: “Arrête de parler” or “Chut” or “Silence“.

To say it “Vulgarly” use instead: “La ferme” or “Ferme-la” or “Ta gueule” or “Ferme ta gueule

But… What about “Tais-toi“? Well, it’s right between these two groups: neither super polite, nor very vulgar. That’s why it’s better to use it with people you are comfortable with and definitely not in a work environment.

Synonyms and similarities

  • Tais-toi. (“Shut your mouth“)
  • Arrête de parler. (“Stop talking“)
  • Chut. (“Shh“)
  • Silence. (“Silence“)
  • La ferme. (“Shut up → Literally: Close it“)(Vulgar)
  • Ta bouche. (“Shut up → Literally: Your mouth“)(Vulgar)
  • Ferme ta bouche. (“Shut up → Literally: Close your mouth“)(Vulgar)
  • Ta gueule. (“Shut up → Literally: Your mouth“)(Very vulgar)
  • Ferme ta gueule. (“Shut up → Literally: Close your muzzle“)(Very vulgar)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Chasse nocturne
Night hunting
Rémi se réveille au milieu de la nuit à cause de son chien qui aboie…
Rémi wakes up in the middle of the night because of his barking dog…
Rémi:   Putain ! C’est quoi ça ?!
Fuck! What is that?!
Rémi était très énervé…
Rémi was very upset…
Rémi:   Oh
ferme-laLiterally: Close it
! Il est trois heures du matin !
Oh shut up! It’s three in the morning!
Rémi se dirige vers son chien.
Rémi heads towards his dog.
Rémi:   Pourquoi tu fais autant de bruit ? Qu’est-ce que tu as vu ?
Why are you making so much noise? What did you see?
Et tout d’un coup, Rémi voit un perroquet voler devant lui… et son chien recommence à aboyer…
And all of a sudden, Rémi sees a parrot flying in front of him… and his dog starts barking again…
Rémi:   Wow ! Qu’est-ce que tu fais là toi ?
Wow! What are you doing here?
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