Discover the French sentence "Oh mince"

We are going to explain you everything you want to know about the funny French phrase “Oh mince”.

Including a complete definition of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. Plus, we also added useful things like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Oh and you will find more of these phrases tutorials on this page plus the ultimate directory of all our French words guides on this page. Have fun!

Table of Contents

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French to English


Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does oh mince mean?


“Oh mince” is a popular way to say “Oh darn” in French. It’s a more neutral way to say “Merde / Putain / Bordel / Fait chier / etc.” which are much more vulgar.

It’s also often used just as “Mince” with the same meaning, but a bit less dramatic.

How to use

If you want to express frustration or anger in formal contexts without using vulgar swear words, you can use:

  • Mince. → Darn
  • Zut. → Heck
  • Flûte. → Heck (Literally: flute)
  • Oh mince. → Oh darn
  • Oh zut. → Oh heck
  • Oh flûte. → Oh heck (Literally: oh flute)

N.B: It’s not “formal” per se but “neutral” and so it won’t be shocking

But for something more vulgar: “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):

N.B. Some translations above are a bit approximative since there is no direct English equivalent, but it reflects the spirit of each possibility as closely as possible from the French version.

Funny stuff

French pro trick: sometimes you start to say naturally “Merde” (Shit) but before finishing the 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 “Meee“, 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.)

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Je vais au restaurant, ça te dit ? “
” I’m going to the restaurant, up for it? “
” Je ne peux pas, je suis fauché
” I can’t, I’m broke “
” Oh mince ! “
” Oh darn! “
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