The French idiom "Rien à cirer" explained

We are going to show you everything you ever wanted to know about the basic French idiom “Rien à cirer”.

It includes a full definition of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. Not to mention the cool informations we sprinkled like slow pronunciation audio, synonyms, dialogue example and more!

In addition, you will find our others idioms pages on this page plus the ultimate directory of all our French words content on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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English translation

How to pronounce it

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

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 and similarities

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.

  • Peu importe. (“It doesn’t matter much“)
  • Ça m’est égal. (“It’s equal to me“)
  • Je m’en moque. (“I’m mocking it“)
  • Je m’en fiche. (“I don’t care“)
  • Ça me passe par dessus la tête. (“It’s going above my head“)
  • Ça me passe par dessus la jambe. (“It’s going above my leg“)
  • J’en ai rien à faire. (“I have nothing to do with it“)
  • Je m’en fous. (“I don’t care“)
  • Je m’en bats l’oeil. (“I’m beating my eye with it“)
  • Je m’en balance. (“I’m swinging with it“)
  • Je m’en tape. (“I’m beating myself with it“)
  • Je m’en contre fiche. (“I don’t give a f**k“)
  • Je m’en contrefous. (“I don’t give a f**k“)
  • Je m’en fiche complètement. (“I completely don’t care“)
  • Je m’en fous complètement. (“I completely don’t care“)
  • J’en m’en tamponne le coquillard. (“I’m stamping my shell with it“)
  • J’en m’en tamponne le coquillard avec une queue de hareng. (“I’m stamping my shell with a herring’s tail“)
  • Ça m’en touche une sans faire bouger l’autre. (“It’s touching one without the second one moving“)
  • J’en ai rien à foutre. (“I have nothing to f**k with it“)
  • J’en ai rien à branler. (“I have nothing to masturbate with it“)
  • Je m’en branle. (“I’m masturbating with it“)
  • Je m’en bats les steaks. (“I’m beating my steaks with it“)
  • Je m’en bats les couilles. (“I’m beating my balls with it“)
  • Je m’en bats la race. (“I’m beating my race with it“)

Everyday life dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” 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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