French expressions for having sex


“Faire une partie de jambes en l’air”: Literally “an up in the air legs match” or a little more accurately – “to play a session of legs in the air”, this commonly used expression has been around for a long time and for want of a better term, can be translated as “to have a bonk”. “Tout ce qui l’interesse c’est une partie de jambes en l’air” is a term that perhaps female expats may have had cause to use before. “All he’s interested in is getting his leg over”…

“Faire crac crac/Faire boum boum” or even for the more energetic “faire crac crac boum boum” or you might even hear “faire boum boum crac crac” or even “faire boum crac boum crac” They all mean the same thing. Do we really need to translate these?

“Passer a la casserole”: One of many French expressions for the act of love making that involves cooking. This means something along the lines of “move on to the pan” but in reality if you hear someone talking about “moving on to the pan” in French, they are talking about who they want to have their wicked way with. Apparently it’s slightly on the vulgar side, so use with caution.

S’envoyer en l’air”: – Literally “to be sent into the air” this term for making love is apparently used in French for the fairly no strings attached kind of sex, that the English refer to perhaps as “to have a shag” or “get laid” . In a sentence you could say “Hier on s’est envoyés en l’air comme des lapins”.

“Faire des galipettes”: – Literally it means “making somersaults” but in terms of the bedroom it’s quite an innocent way of talking about fooling around under the sheets, or perhaps having “hanky panky” is the best translation. “Viens on va faire des galipettes” – “come on lets go for some hanky panky”, might not impress a sophisticated Parisian, but at least it won’t offend them either.

“Faire la bête à deux dos” – Fans of William Shakespeare might recognise this one. “Making the beast with two backs” is a famous line in the play Othello and “faire le bête à deux dos” is the French equivalent, that’s been around in France for a few centuries as well. Beware, it’s probably not used among the younger generation too much.

“Faire des pirouettes sur le nombril”: – Literally it means “making pirouettes around the belly button” and is a rather nice sounding and apparently inoffensive idiom for a bit of “how‘s yer father’s” or jiggy jiggy (that’s having sex, just in case you aren’t familiar with either of those terms).

“Tremper le biscuit”: – Literally this means to “dip the biscuit” and is one of the many male orientated expressions, you might hear a Frenchman use, that involves food. Cucumbers and bread also make regular appearances in various “sexpressions”. Given the Frenchman’s reputation for his love of both fine food and “dipping biscuits”, it’s perhaps only natural they combine the two in expressions for making love. And there’s many more that are clearly more appropriate for usage by men, including…

“Emmener Popaul au cirque”: – This is obviously one for the gents. Literally “taking Popaul (or Popol) to the circus”. “Popaul” is of course a common French nickname for a man’s genitals. And one more the guys..

“Coincer le Père Noël dans la cheminée”: This expression doesn’t leave much to the imagination but if you need help with translating means “to get stuck”.

“Remettre le couvert”: – You might want to be careful next time you offer to help clean up at the end of a dinner party in France. While “remettre le couvert” normally means “to put the cutlery away” it’s also an old term that was used to refer to the action between the sheets. Some suggest it’s because that’s what the hosts did once the guests had cleaned up and gone home.

“Faire la danse du loup”: – This expression which literally means “Doing the wolf dance” apparently stems from the 16th century, but we think it’s about time it was brought back into fashion.

“Grimper aux rideaux”: Literally it means “to climb the curtain” but it would probably be translated as to “hit the roof”. But for the sake of this gallery “grimper aux rideaux” could mean “to reach seventh heaven”, or “to blow the mind” or to put it plain and simply in polite English words, “to perform exceedingly well between the sheets”.


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