Fric, blé, pognon, thune, balles…

Today we are going to talk about money. French has a lot of words for money.

The standard word for money is argent (masculine), which also happens to mean “silver”. But there are many slang words:

  • le fric,
  • le pognon,
  • le blé (which normally means “wheat”),
  • la thune (sometimes also les thunes).

In my experience, these are the most common words. Some less common words include:

  • le flouze,
  • le pèze,
  • l’oseille (feminine, normal meaning: “sorrel”),
  • rond, mostly used in the expression ne pas avoir un rond, “to have no money”,
  • le grisbi.

On va se faire un paquet de blé !
We’re gonna make loads of money!

File-moi ton fric !
Gimme your money!

Il a perdu tout son pognon au casino.
He lost all his money in the casino.

Il paraît que son père est pété de thunes.
They say his father is rich as hell.

The expression pété de thunes is a slang way of saying “very rich”. You might hear it with another word instead of thunes, but pété de thunes sounds much better to me than pété de pognon.

Another useful word is une balle, which usually means “ball” or “bullet”. It was a slang name for francs (like “buck” for “dollar” in English), but it fell out of use in France when France adopted the euro. However, it is reappearing and now naturally means “euro”.

— Tu peux me prêter dix balles ?
— Désolé, j’ai pas un rond.
— Can you lend me ten euros?
— Sorry, I have no money.

Listen to the examples:

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