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10 Must-Know Quebecois Expressions for French Language Learners

Are you interested in learning French in Canada, specifically the Quebecois dialect?

Quebecois expressions can be tricky to understand, but they are essential to communicating effectively in Quebec. In this blog post, we'll explore 10 common Quebecois expressions that every French language learner should know. Whether you're planning a trip to Quebec or looking to improve your French skills, these expressions will come in handy.

So, let's dive in and discover the unique vocabulary of Quebecois French!

1) À tantôt

"A tantôt" is a Quebecois French expression that means "see you soon." It is often used in casual conversation when saying goodbye to someone.

2) Présentement

"Présentement" is a commonly used adverb in Quebecois French that means "at the moment" or "currently." It is often used to describe the current state of things or to indicate what is happening at a specific time.

3) Chum

"Chum" is a Quebecois French word that comes from the English word "chum." It is often used to refer to a male friend or a boyfriend, depending on the context. It is a colloquial term that is commonly used in Quebec.

In France, we use "petit ami" or "copain."

Example: Tu as un nouveau chum?

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4) Blonde

In Canadian French, "blonde" is a word that is often used to refer to a girlfriend. While in France, it is used to describe someone with blond hair. This can lead to confusion for French speakers from France, who may not be familiar with this usage.

5) Breuvage

"Breuvage" is a Quebecois French word that means "beverage," similar to the English word. In France, the word "boisson" is more commonly used. You may see this word on menus in Quebec and other French-speaking parts of Canada.

6) Pouce

"Pouce" is the French word for "thumb," but it also has another meaning in Canada. In Canada, people's height is calculated in inches and feet, and "pouce" is used to denote inches. For example, a person who is 5 feet 6 inches tall in Canada would be described as "5 pieds 6 pouces."

7) Magasiner

"Magasiner" is a commonly used verb in Quebec that means "shopping." In addition to using the verb on its own, you can also say "faire du magasinage" to mean "go shopping" in both spoken and written French. In France, the equivalent phrase is "faire du shopping."

Ex: Tu fais quoi demain? Je vais magasiner. (What are you doing tomorrow? I'm going shopping.)

8) Bobette

"Bobette" is a colloquial term used in Quebec to mean "underwear." It is similar to the French word "sous-vêtements," which is also used to refer to underwear.

9) Cellulaire

"Cellulaire" is the Quebec French term for "cell phone," which is similar to the English usage. In France, people commonly use the term "un portable" to refer to a cell phone, which means "a portable."

10) Pinotte

"Pinotte" is a word borrowed from English, where it means "peanut." In Quebec French, it is used to refer to peanuts, but it can also be used more broadly to refer to nuts in general. In France, the equivalent term is "cacahuète."


In conclusion, the French language has many nuances and differences in vocabulary depending on the region and country where it is spoken. Quebec French, in particular, has its own unique vocabulary that sets it apart from European French. By learning some of these words, you can gain a deeper understanding of the culture and customs of Quebec.

Looking to learn more Canadian French and expand your vocab? Check out our beginner course and start your journey towards fluency today!

About me

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Bonjour! My name is Umut and I'm a French teacher based in Toronto who is passionate about French language, literature and culture. I have been teaching French to adults for more than 5 years.
With my online courses, I've helped hundreds of students to learn French effectively and managed to bring many students from entry-level to advanced fluency.
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