Get ready to learn everything you have to know about the funny French word “Merde”.
To be more specific, this includes a full definition of what it is and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. And because we want to help you on your learning journey, we also added super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!
If you are interested, you will also find more of these words guides like this one on this page and the directory of all our French words guides on this page. Wish you a good learning!
“Merde” is the common way to say “Shit” in French. It’s a very popular swear word used in daily life.
“Merde / Putain / Bordel / Fait chier” are used exactly like “Crap / Fuck / Shit / etc.” in English. But we like to make a sentence out of them according to the level of angriness and vulgarity we want.
So the more of “Merde / Putain / Bordel / Fait chier” we use in one sentence and the more pissed we are. And we also often add “Oh” before to make it more dramatic, let’s see how it works…
Vulgar (Just one swear word):
Super vulgar (x2 combo):
Super mega vulgar (x3 combo):
Infinite vulgarity (x4 combo):
Finally, if you really want to express your frustration in formal contexts without using bad swear words, you can use instead:
N.B: It’s not “formal” per se but “neutral” and so it won’t be shocking
N.B.2: some translations above are a bit approximative since there is no direct English equivalent, but it reflects the spirit of each possibility as close as possible from the French version.
French pro trick: sometimes you start to say naturally “Merde” (Shit) but before finishing de first syllable you realize you are in a formal context and that it wouldn’t be appropriate.
So, if you just said “Mmm” you can switch to “Mince” which is not vulgar and has the same meaning → Mmmm…ince.
But if you already said “Merrrr“, instead of finishing the word “Merde” you say “Mercredi” (Wednesday) instead → Mer…credi. In this case people will know you almost said “Merde” but it’s still better than actually saying it.)