French gossip expressions – How to gossip like a French person?

In the French language, there are expressions that are often used during gossip sessions between friends. These expressions often express surprise and astonishment. Often, they are specific to the situation and do not benefit from translation into other languages.

Here are 5 French gossip expressions that are often used during gossip sessions between friends!

Gossip expression #1: j’hallucine ! (I’m hallucinating!)

If you are gossiping with French friends, it is not uncommon to hear the expression “j’hallucine!”

In the French language, the verb “halluciner” is used to designate a second state linked to the use of hallucinogenic substances.

The expression “j’hallucine!” is used to express astonishment related to gossip. This interjection comes from a common French, especially used by young people. It can also mean “I can’t believe my eyes and ears!

Here is an example with the expression “I’m hallucinating!” :

  • Thomas has just bought himself a new car even though he still has loans to pay off.
  • I’m hallucinating! He shouldn’t have bought that car! (this expression could be replaced by “I can’t believe my ears!”)

Gossip phrase #2: arrête ! (stop!)

In French, this word means “to stop”. When we ask someone to stop something, it expresses our desire for them to stop what they are doing.

But in a gossip situation, the interjection “stop!” means the opposite! This expression is mostly used to express astonishment and not at all to ask the other person to stop talking. The person listening to the gossip is so surprised by what he or she hears that he or she expresses his or her amazement with this interjection.

Here is an example with the expression “stop!” :

  • Magalie is going around the world in 6 months!
  • Stop it! She doesn’t like to travel! This is such surprising news!

Gossip expression #3: c’est pas vrai! (no way!)

Among the gossip expressions in French, “c’est pas vrai!” is very often used. In formal French, the exact expression is “ce n’est pas vrai”. In fact, the negation is emphasized because it is grammatically more correct.

However, the common expression “c’est pas vrai” abandons the negation when it comes to expressing surprise. It means “I don’t believe it”, “you’re kidding”. It is an informal expression used among friends or family in a gossipy conversation.

Here is an example with the expression “no way!” :

  • She told me to come to the job interview in jeans and sneakers!
  • No way! That’s not the right outfit for a job interview! (we could use instead: you’re kidding!)

Gossip phrase #4: je suis trop choqué ! (I’m too shocked!)

In French gossip expressions, “je suis choqué!” means to be scandalized by what you hear. It is a colloquial expression for expressing extreme surprise and indignation.

In formal language, the verb shock means to go against moral principles, to displease or offend. It is a shock that follows extreme astonishment.

In this expression of gossip, the emphasis is on exaggeration. In formal language, the adverb “too” means “very”. It is therefore there to further emphasize the person’s indignation.

Here is an example with the expression “I am too shocked!”

  • Melanie did not invite her cousin to her birthday party because she no longer wishes to see him.
  • I am too shocked by Melanie’s attitude! (we could use instead: I am indignant!)

Gossip expression #5: elle/il a dit quoi ? (she/he said what?)

Elle a dit quoi ?

This gossiping expression aims to make the speaker repeat himself/herself to make sure he/she has understood what he/she has just said. In more formal French, the exact expression would be “qu’a-t-il/elle dit?

In the case of a gossip discussion, the expression “elle/il a dit quoi?” also means to express indignation at the gossip of the other person.

Here is an example with the expression “she/he said what?”

  • Alexis said that there was no money left in the pot for the gift! That’s terrible!
  • What did he/she say? How come?

The main purpose of these five French gossip expressions is to express indignation, astonishment or surprise. They are common colloquial expressions used in gossip discussions. Now you can use them in conversations with your friends!

Thanks for reading my article on French gossip expressions ! I hope you learned something or reviewed a grammar point. Want to ask me a question? Write a comment on the Your online French teacher blog! You want to take French classes, or conversation classes? Contact me for a quote or for the program of individual or group French classes.

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