French anglicism, really ?


Here in France, we have a very funny comedian named Paul Taylor who comes from the UK and loves to make fun of us, our habits, our expressions... He pointed out how absurd french fake-anglicism can be for an english speaker.

French anglicisms take the expression "false friend" to the next level haha. I thought it would make a good post and learn you guys some funny things. So here we go for some example, please add some in comment if you think of other ones :

Un dressing = a closet

Faire du footing = to jogg

Un jogging = a tracksuit

Un smoking = a tuxedo

Un planning = a schedule

Un parking = a parking lot/a car park

Le foot = football/soccer

Des baskets = sneakers

Un camping = a camp site

Un flipper = a pinball machine

Un baby-foot = a table football/table soccer

Un goal = a goalkeeper

Un brushing (pronounced bro-shing) = a blow dry

Un people = a celebrity

Un talkie-walkie = a walkie-talkie

Un stripteaser = a stripper

Une pompom girl = a cheerleader

Un camping-car = a camper van/RV

Les warnings = the warning lights

Un fast-food = a fast food restaurant

Un drive = a drive-through

Un lifting = a facelift

Faire du playback = To lip synch

Un pressing = a dry cleaner's

Sources :

May 24, 2019


I love Paul Taylor, I watched his whole "What the F France" in one go.

Also "un shampooing" = shampoo

May 24, 2019

Same, I spent a whole day watching those videos!

May 24, 2019

J'aime Paul Taylor hahahh :))

May 24, 2019

These are actually more specifically called pseudo-anglicisms in English! French is far from the only language to have them.

May 25, 2019

When I discovered Paul Taylor nearly a year ago, I immediately showed it to my French exchange student when he arrived.

It was the perfect thing, it was a bilingual video that we could both understand, and it was funny. Definitely one of my favorite youtubers.


May 26, 2019

Hi Zarrouguil.Thank you for your remarks.Take care

May 24, 2019

'un baby-foot' is a thing to make fun of

May 24, 2019

rigolo, la liste est loin d'être exhaustive :P

May 25, 2019

N'hésites pas à rajouter ceux tu connais en commentaire ou dans un autre post :)

May 25, 2019

Ha, just watched a few of his videos. Excellent!

May 25, 2019

Thank , I like football table soccer :)

May 24, 2019

You might like the book « Baby-foot » by Joseph Joffo, then. It's autobiographical, about when he was a kid. But his really good book is (IMHO) his first, « Un sac de billes » , about surviving WWII as a child (translated into English as A Bag of Marbles, Spanish as «Un saco de canicas», and into many other languages).

May 24, 2019

Oh, those are too funny! I have become used to hearing some English words from my friends in Quebec but putting them all together like this makes a quite comical list.

May 24, 2019

As a someone from Quebec, I have to tell you that only a few of those are actually used here. Anglicisms are regional and vary greatly. Words like "un basket", "un dressing" and "un drive" are not used here and would be instead actual anglicisms such as "un shoes" instead of basket, "un closet" instead of dressing and "un drive-thru" instead of a drive (of course the last one is maybe not quite different except that we kept the same word as in English). Also these are specific to the region of Montreal because when you leave the big urban space, you will encounter accents and expressions for all those words that even most Montrealers would not understand.

May 27, 2019

@ ZarrouguiL First time I read about "false friend" in courses italians by english in futurelearn. I remember the symbol C.C=Caldo(italian)= warm in english language but in english C=Cold the instead meaning...Please if understand what I write, correct my thread

May 24, 2019


May 25, 2019

In the UK there is a German comedian, Henning Wehn, who similarly mocks us. Part of the fun is his curious accent - part German and part British Midlands, so how is Paul Taylor's French accent?

May 25, 2019

Haha it's very similar indeed ! Paul Taylor's accent is actually just perfect parisian accent. He grew up in France part of his youth, like when he were 5, and kids are basically sponges concerning langage at this age haha. At the beginning he played with this, making believe to the audience that he had a strong english accent at first.

He says that because he has a perfect accent but still makes basic mistakes (like : un pinte de bière instead of une pinte de bière) people don't think he is a foreigner but a dumb french instead haha

May 25, 2019

Thanks for the extra clip - really funny:).

There are a few top French chefs who have lived in London for many years and are said to keep their heavy French accents because it helps their image!

May 25, 2019

Yeah I bet. Though it's really hard to lose your accent if you haven't lived in the country as a kid. Sebastian Marx, an american comedian in France still has a very strong accent for example :

My grandparents who's been living here for 50 years still have an arabic accent. Don't know if there studies on the subject, might be interesting...

May 25, 2019

Another funny clip, thanks. I didn't understand his reference to the Portuguese at about 3:00. Is that a racist joke?

May 25, 2019

Nooo actually it's a joke that denounces it. I don't know if it's the same in english but in french we have the word "expatrié" (expatriate) and "immigré" (immigrant) that we both use a lot, should be synonyms but aren't. "Immigré" is more pejorative. He says that the difference is a bit hypocritical and that you can know which one of these you are by observing the reaction of others when you say them that you come from another country. If you say "I come from America" they'd answer "Oh, and why are you here ?", but if you're from Portugal... awkward silence... haha

May 25, 2019

Thanks for the explanation re. the Portuguese. I have met several Portuguese in Portugal who work in France, when I ask them something in bad Portuguese they ask if I speak French, not English. By the way, your English is excellent - felicitations!

May 25, 2019

Haha yeah France is a land of migrations, even if some still struggle to accept it. Thank you, means a lot, I love english. Take care ;)

May 25, 2019

Je viens d'apprendre des trucs choqué

May 25, 2019

The odd thing is that some of them as false as you think and are leaking back. Zapper and to zap is quite common for remote control and the action of using it. A beamer is a BMW but also a projector at work (from German and Dutch). Still quite funny.

May 26, 2019
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