The French quote "Ta gueule" explained

Are you ready to discover everything you ever wanted to know about the basic idiom “Ta gueule”?

Are included a complete guide of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. And because we want you to learn efficiently, we also added some useful informations like dialogue example, synonym, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and in case you are interested, on this page you will find more of these idioms tutorials plus all our French words pages on this page. Ready to learn? C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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English translation

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does ta gueule mean?


The literal meaning is:

  • Ta → Your
  • Gueule → Mouth

How to use it

There are many ways to say “Shut up” in French and even if it’s never a pleasant thing to say, some ways are (much) more harsh than others.

You can find all the possibilities in the section “Synonyms” below, but basically if you want to say it “Politely” you can say: “Arrête de parler” or “Chut” or “Silence“.

To say it “Vulgarly” use instead: “La ferme” or “Ta gueule” or “Ferme ta gueule

But… What about “Tais-toi“? Well, it’s right between these two groups: neither super polite, nor very vulgar. That’s why it’s better to use it with people you are comfortable with and definitely not in a work environment.

Synonyms and similarities

  • Tais-toi. (“Shut your mouth“)
  • Arrête de parler. (“Stop talking“)
  • Chut. (“Shh“)
  • Silence. (“Silence“)
  • Ferme-la. (“Shut up → Literally: Close it“)(Vulgar)
  • La ferme. (“Shut up → Literally: Close it“)(Vulgar)
  • Ta bouche. (“Shut up → Literally: Your mouth“)(Vulgar)
  • Ferme ta bouche. (“Shut up → Literally: Close your mouth“)(Vulgar)
  • Ferme ta gueule. (“Shut up → Literally: Close your muzzle“)(Very vulgar)

Example in a story with slow audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this expression in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
L'humour au second degré
Second degree humor
En France, nous utilisons beaucoup “L’humour au second degré”.
In France, we use a lot the “Second degree humor”
Pour comprendre ce que c’est, il faut savoir qu’avant le “second degré”, il y a le “premier degré”.
To understand what it is, you must know that before the “second degree”, there is the “first degree”.
Quand vous parlez au “premier degré” vous pensez vraiment ce que vous dites…
When you talk at the “first degree” you really think what you are saying.
Il n’y a pas de sous-entendu ni d’interprétation cachée.
There is no implication or hidden interpretation.
Mais quand vous parlez au “second degré” cela veut dire que vous faites de l’ironie, du sarcasme ou de l’humour.
But when you talk at the “second degree” it means that you are doing irony, sarcasm or humor.
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