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Everything about the French word "Putain"

You are going to find out all the things you have to know about the funny word "Putain". To be more specific, it includes a complete guide of what it is and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. But that's not all, we also added some super useful stuff like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : F*ck

  • Register : Informal - Funny - Swear

How to pronounce it?



  • IPA : / pytɛ̃ /

aesthetic french quote putain

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What does putain mean?


"Putain" literally means "whore" and is the common way to say "Fuck" in French. It's a very popular swear word used in daily life.

How to use it

"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.

Fun stuff

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.)

Example in a dialogue with audio


Putain, j'ai la flemme de travailler

Fuck, I'm too lazy to work

Moi aussi, c'est ennuyant...

Me too, it's annoying



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C'est des conneries !


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Il est taré