Much of modern French slang comes from the influence of North African Arabic spoken in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Some of this slang is even used among families and friends outside the big French cities, thanks to the spread of hip-hop culture. 

Disclaimer: these Arabic words are not used in their literal meaning, but rather as a French “interpretation."

1. Wesh

It comes from slang Algerian “esh” meaning “what’s going on."  It's used as the equivalent of “wadup?” or “yo."

2. Kiffer

From the word “kif” in Arabic, literarily meaning “to enjoy." This is the same as “digging” something in English slang.

3. Le kif

This is almost the same as "kiffer," only that it’s a noun. It can be used similarly to “dope" in English slang.

4. Kifkif

This word is used to say “same same."  

5. Chouiya

From “chweya” meaning “a little bit." This word is used by almost everyone in France.

6. Fissa

Means “quick” or “hurry-up."

7. Flouze

This means “money” but is used like “dough” in English slang.

8. Hchouma

Comes from “hechma” meaning “embarrassing." Cool kids generally use it as “oh la hchouma!”

9. Seum

It means “venom” in Arabic and is generally used in French to describe someone who’s really upset. As in “so annoyed."

10. Walou

Walou is a typical Algerian word meaning “nothing”. The famous band Outlandish named one of their songs "walou."

11. Zaama

This is a North African expression meaning “asif." Middle Eastern countries would use “a’al ya3ni."

12. Tataouine

Tataouine is a Tunisian town where one of Star Wars movies was filmed. French people use this word to refer to a place that’s in the middle of nowhere.

13. Bled

Means “country” or “city.”

14. Sahbi

Literarily means “my friend” but more like “my homie” in slang.

15. Khouya

This literally means “my brother” or “bro”.

16. Miskin/Miskina

Miskin means “poor” and is used to describe someone who’s the epitome of misery. 

17. Garo

This is another specifically Algerian word that means cigarette.

18. Halla

Means “chaos” in North African Arabic. “La hala” is the way to say it.

19. Rassra

Literarily means anxiety. French people use it to describe a place, a person or anything that is creepy.

20. Chouf

It means “look” in Arabic and it is quite widespread in French slang vocabulary.