Stuff Parisians Like + Say

Part of the joy of living in France is the game that is trying to understand the French. Overtime one starts to make observations, then ultimately it comes up at dinner conversation and everyone laughs with the discovery of these slight true-isms. For Christmas my friend Sarah gave me a copy of French sommelier (of Ô Chateau) Olivier Magny’s book Dessine-moi un Parisien, which I couldn’t have enjoyed more. Based on his ever popular blog, Stuff Parisians Like, the book is a humorous (and real) look at Parisians, from a Parisian himself. Discussing anything from the mass popularity of cherry tomatoes to the fact that you can judge the age of Parisians by whether they’re wearing jeans or not, the book is loaded with tons of French-isms, along with catch phrases at the end of each succinct chapter to help you on your way to being French. I love too that when I had French friends over they found it just as amusing–and true– as I did. Although it doesn’t have nearly as cool a cover, you can find it in English too, under the title Stuff Parisians Like.

Just as amusing is a recent video series launched by My Little Paris. First there was Ce que Disent les Parisiens (things Parisians say). Then came Ce que Disent les Parisiens au Bureau (things Parisians say at work). While in French, both are a trip. Enjoy below.

This all got me thinking, what makes people sound French. Below are a few of my own favorite French-isms. Add them to the start or end of a sentence, and you’ll be set!

Bah, alors… (and so)
Oh la vache! (holy cow)
Putain! (f*ck)
Merde (sh*t)
Franchement (frankly)
Tu vois? (you see)
En fait (in fact)
Dis-donc (well, say…)
Pas mal (literally ‘not bad,’ yet a huge compliment)


  • Thank you for sharing this book! It looks both enlightening and entertaining. I’m going to have to pick it up. Love your lingo translator at the end, too. I couldn’t even count how many times my host sister says “en fait,” and that was in Strasbourg :).

  • I love this post! What a fun spin off of “$h!% Girls Say!” I am a student intern at FindTheBest and would love to feature you on FindTheBest’s Blog Comparison. Please contact me at mfunk(at) if you are interested so I can send you more details.


  • Haha yeees cherry tomatoes, always at every apero or picnic!! Olivier’s Magny’s blog and book are both so funny and spot on.
    I personally love “Bon baaah” – my boyfriend says this every 5 minutes and I think it’s hilarious. And I can’t help but laugh when I hear grown men say “Coucou!”

  • This is so awesome. Will be a nice pairing for my book on Quebequois! I love learning more about languages and what folks are *really* saying, or how people really speak in informal everyday life. Super cool.

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