We’ve all been lonely little expats at one point. Online dating was a way to meet locals and actually (try to) speak French with them. But when you’re chatting with a Frenchman online, you’ll notice very quickly that you aren’t speaking Voltaire’s French.
Such an experience might throw years of French study out the window as you realize you don’t actually speak French at all – but don’t worry, most of it is slang that even the French outside of the gay community haven’t mastered.
So if you’re on Grindr or GayRomeo while in Paris and strike up a conversation with some chatty Parisian, there are a few bits of vocab you should probably know so that you don’t feel like you’re a total French novice.
ACTIF? Top? As in, are you a top?
DIAL: Short for “dialoguer,” this one means he just wants to chat, so no need to get your shoes on to run out the door.
DISPO? Simply means “available?” For what? Remains to be seen, but usually for a hook-up.
KIFFER: A verb that means “to like,” it’s often used to say that you’re turned on by something, as in, “Je kiffe les mecs barbus,” or “I like guys with beards.”
MEC: Slang for “guy.” Used liberally.
PARTOUZE: Group fun. Orgy.
PASSIF? Bottom? As in, are you a bottom?
PIC BITE? The “pic” part is easy, but bite? No, he’s not talking about a photo of what you last ate. A “bite” is French slang for “dick.”
PIC VISAGE? Face pic? After years of guillotining, the French are dubious of bodies without heads…
PLAN? Used almost every time on Grindr, it’s a simple question. Want to hook up?
PLAN SOFT? Want to do some over-the-clothes stuff? Maybe a little more?
PLAN SUCE? An encounter based around oral activity only.
REEL? Are you looking for a real encounter or just to chat?
SLT: “Salut” or simply, “Hey.”
T CHO? Literally, “tu est chaud,” or “are you horny?” This is a classic.
TBM : “Très bien monté,” literally very well hung. Look out for TTBM, or “très très bien monté” for the very, very well hung. Yikes. You’ll see a few BM for “bien monté” for those are just well hung.
TES TRIPS? What are you into? What gets you going?
TU CH? Literally a shortening of “Tu cherches?” or “You’re looking?” this is a way to ask if someone is looking for anything in particular, namely, sex.
TU RECOIS? Can you receive, or host, a sexual encounter between us? Basically, are you alone and can I come over?
Have any other French words that have popped up while messing around with online dating? Let us know!