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The French idiom "Rien à cirer" explained

We are going to explain you all the things you ever wanted to know about the basic French idiom "Rien à cirer". More precisely, it includes a detailed guide of what it is and how you can use it in a normal conversation with an audio example.In addition, we also added some useful informations like synonyms, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

English translation

  • Translation : I don't care

  • Literal meaning : Nothing to wax

  • Register : Informal - Basic

How to pronounce it



  • IPA : / ʁjɛ̃ a siʁe /

aesthetic french quote rien a cirer

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What does rien à cirer mean?


It's an informal way to say in French "I don't care" and it literally means "Nothing to wax".

It comes from the 15th century. When the sailors had finished waxing the deck of the ship and their superior asked them to get back to work, they replied that they had nothing more to wax. So by extension it became a way to say: "I have nothing to do with that / I don't care"

Note that it's informal and you shouldn't use it in official situations, like with teachers, boss, etc.

How to use

Someone is talking a lot to you about a topic you are really not interested in, you can say: "Rien à cirer" (I don't care). Beware, it's harsh (obviously...)

Or if someone asks you which is your favorite football team, but you don't care about football... you can say "J'en ai rien à cirer du foot." (I don't care about football)

Synonyms / Related

I sort them from the more "formal" to the more "vulgar", but it's not an exact science and can differ widely depending on people, culture, religion, context, etc.

Example in a dialogue


Tu t'intéresses à la politique ?

Are you interested in politics?

Rien à cirer

Nothing to wax*

Moi non plus

Me neither

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Je suis fauché


To vocabulary list


Tu as du bol