French Language Blog

Gratos and other ‘G’ French Slang words Posted by on Aug 30, 2010 in Vocabulary

Et c’est reparti (here we go again):

What would it mean if you hear someone telling you in French: “allez, grouille-toi !”?
Or if you’re offered something “gratos“?

After we went through the first two parts of the letter ‘G‘, here comes la troisième partie (the third part):

G comme…” (G as in…)

We have already seen in ““D comme…” B.A.-BA de l’Argot (the ABC of French Slang: ‘D’) that the verb “se dégonfler” means to become “deflated“, but means in argot “to become scared”, to “chicken out”, to become a “coward.” An equivalent (informal) expression is “avoir la frousse“, “avoir la trouille“, or “avoir froid aux yeux“: Literally to get “cold in the eyes”, or “to get cold eyes”, which of course should remind us of the expression “getting cold feet” in English.

The adjectif “gonflé” means just the opposite (without the prefix “dé-“), as in bold, brave, verging on insolence and impertinence.

Means a “chick”, a girl. It is not necessarily offensive, but it’s not normally intended to be used in polite company either.
Popular French singer Renaud has a song called “Ma gonzesse” (“My chick”):

You remember that “gamin” (from ““Un gamin de Paris!” (Yves Montand)”) means a “kid”, a “child.” Gosse can be considered its synonym. It’s pronounced the same way you would -in French of course!- pronounce the last name of the great German mathematician “Carl Friedrich Gauss.”
That doesn’t help? Then remember that it’s pronounced the same way you would say it in the word “gossip” (think “Gossip girls” if all fails…)
“Beau gosse”, on the other hand, means “a good looking guy.” Hence the “cutting-edge concept” of “bogossitude”, introduced by the self-proclaimed “bogosse-in-chief”, Michael Vendetta!
“Gratos” or “gratis” come from the word “gratuit”, which means free, or “free of charge.”
Sers-toi, c’est gratis” means “help yourself, it’s free.”
Le “French Blog”, c’est 100% GRATIS !
The verb se grouiller means “to hurry up.” So, if someone tells you “allez, grouille-toi!“, that means “come on, hurry up!”

For a version québécoise of this expression, here’s un petit exemple (avec l’accent!): “grouille-toi là!”

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