When I first moved to France and started making friends with people my age, I realised I would have to start learning slang. I already knew a few slang terms and a lot of bad words (“putain” (fuck) is still my favourite French swear word) but there was still a lot I didn’t know in the beginning.
I found a few alternatives for saying ‘let’s go’ in French. I had previously learned ‘on y va’ in French classes, but came across ‘on se casse’ on the internet. ‘Se casser’ is a verb meaning to break and was apparently a slang way to say ‘let’s go,’ kind of like ‘let’s shoot off’ in English… or so I thought.So while I’m at a bar with my French friend Pauline one night, we think about leaving and heading to another one. So I ask her,
‘On se casse?’
Pauline dropped her beer on the table and her eyes looked like they were about to pop out of her head.
Samantha! C’est vulgaire !…. Et pour une fille!’
‘Samantha! That’s vulgar’ – and for a girl! she told me.
Oh shit. The internet never told me it was vulgar if you were a girl to say ‘on se casse’! I never even thought it could be vulgar! I started laughing and explained I just thought it was cool, slang term for ‘on y va’.
She then told me that for a girl, ‘on se casse’ was quite vulgar and it was much more common to say ‘on bouge’ (let’s move) instead.