How to Say “Balls” in French Slang: A Guide to Formal and Informal Terms

Greetings! If you’re looking to expand your French vocabulary in a playful and colloquial way, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll explore various ways to express the term “balls” in French slang, including both formal and informal expressions. Whether you’re interested in regional variations or just want to add some spice to your language skills, we’ll cover it all. Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of French slang!

The Formal Approach: “Testicules” and “Les Parties Intimes”

Formality is key in certain situations, so let’s start with the more acceptable and polite terms. When it comes to discussing anatomy in a formal setting, the word “testicules” is commonly used in French as the equivalent of “balls.” The term is straightforward and avoids any potentially offensive connotations.

If you prefer a broader and more delicate expression, you can use the phrase “les parties intimes” (the intimate parts) to refer to both male reproductive organs. While this expression can be perceived as more refined, it is still considered formal and may sound a bit clinical.

The Informal Route: “Couilles” and “Burnes”

Now, let’s venture into the realm of informal French slang. Please keep in mind that the following terms are quite vulgar and should be used sparingly, if at all, depending on the context and the people you are interacting with.

1. “Couilles” – The Most Common Informal Term

The word “couilles” is the most commonly used informal term for “balls” in French slang. It stands for “testicles” and can be considered rather crude. It’s important to note that using this term in formal or professional settings is highly inappropriate. However, in casual conversations among friends or in informal contexts, it may be heard.

Example usage:

  • Ça fait mal aux couilles! – It hurts the balls!
  • Arrête de me casser les couilles! – Stop bothering me!

2. “Burnes” – A More Colorful Alternative

Another informal term to refer to “balls” in French slang is “burnes.” This slang term has a similar meaning to “couilles” but is considered slightly more vulgar. It is important to use this term with caution and only in informal and relaxed conversations, as it may offend or shock some people.

Example usage:

  • Elle lui a mis un coup dans les burnes. – She kicked him in the balls.
  • Il n’a pas les burnes pour faire ça. – He doesn’t have the balls to do that.

Regional Variations: A Gastronomic Twist

While “couilles” and “burnes” are the most widely understood French slang terms, it’s worth noting that there are regional variations across France. These variations often involve substituting the slang terms with words related to gastronomy. Here are a couple of examples:

1. “Noix” – The Nutty Reference

In certain regions, like Normandy and Brittany, some people may use the word “noix” (nuts) as a euphemism for testicles. This regional variation adds a touch of whimsy and humor to the expression, while still maintaining a certain level of discretion.

Mon ami a eu mal aux noix après le coup. – My friend had a hurt in the nuts after the kick.

2. “Coucougnettes” – A Sweet Treat

In Southern France, particularly in Provence, people might occasionally refer to “balls” as “coucougnettes,” which is a regional name for sugared almonds. This playful substitute highlights the region’s culinary specialty while injecting a touch of lightheartedness.

Il n’a pas les coucougnettes pour dire ça en face. – He doesn’t have the balls to say that to his face.


Now that you’re familiar with a range of formal and informal French slang terms for “balls,” you can navigate various social situations while adding a touch of color to your vocabulary. Remember to use these expressions with caution, as they can be offensive if used inappropriately or with the wrong audience. Keep in mind that formal terms like “testicules” and “les parties intimes” are more appropriate in professional and formal settings, while the informal terms “couilles” and “burnes” are reserved for casual conversations among friends.

Regardless of the expressions you choose, always be mindful of context, audience, and respect. Expanding your French slang knowledge can be an entertaining way to connect with others and explore the intricacies of language.

Now, go forth and may your French conversations be spiced with just the right amount of cheekiness. Bonne chance!

Written by Brent Joshua

Bonjour! I'm Brent, a language enthusiast with a particular affection for French. Between strolls in charming Parisian streets and savory beef stews, I love exploring all aspects of la belle langue.Funny, formal or casual, I've likely written about it, so let my varied guides help you on your linguistic journey. But don't be fooled, my interests stretch beyond language. I also enjoy global cuisines, travelling, and watching animated cartoons. Dive into my work and who knows, soon you might be telling your sweet-heart 'Good Morning' en Francais. À bientôt!

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