How to Say Bullying in French: A Comprehensive Guide

Gaining knowledge of how to express the concept of bullying in different languages is crucial in today’s interconnected world. In this guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways to say “bullying” in French. We will also touch upon regional variations if essential, providing you with various tips and examples along the way.

Formal Ways to Say Bullying in French

When it comes to formal situations or official discussions, it is essential to use the appropriate terminology to convey the seriousness of the issue. Here are some formal ways to express “bullying” in French:

  1. Le harcèlement: This is the most common and widely recognized term for “bullying” in French. It encompasses both physical and psychological forms of mistreatment.
  2. L’intimidation: This term emphasizes the aspect of intimidation and fear that is often associated with bullying. It is particularly effective when describing the emotional impact on the victim.
  3. La violence morale: This expression specifically refers to psychological violence, emphasizing the emotional harm caused by bullying.
  4. L’abus: While “abus” generally refers to abuse, it is commonly used to describe bullying, especially in formal or legal settings. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors, including physical, verbal, or emotional mistreatment.

Informal Ways to Say Bullying in French

In informal settings, such as casual conversations or talking to friends, you may come across different expressions for “bullying” in French. Here are some informal ways to express this concept:

  1. Le harcélement moral: This term is commonly used in informal situations to describe psychological bullying. It focuses on the emotional harm inflicted on the victim.
  2. Le bizutage: Although “bizutage” primarily refers to hazing, it is often used informally to describe bullying within specific contexts, such as in schools or universities.
  3. La persécution: While “la persécution” typically means persecution, it is sometimes used to describe the persistent mistreatment and harassment associated with bullying.
  4. Les brimades: This expression is often used to refer to bullying through acts of harassment, mockery, or humiliation.

Regional Variations in France

While French is the official language in France, regional variations in vocabulary and dialects do exist. It’s worth noting that some regional variations may prefer certain terms for “bullying” over others. However, the formal and informal expressions mentioned above are widely understood and applicable throughout French-speaking regions.


Let’s take a look at some examples to further illustrate the usage of these terms:

“Le harcèlement peut laisser des cicatrices émotionnelles durables chez les victimes.”

Translation: “Bullying can leave lasting emotional scars on victims.”

“Le bizutage est une forme inacceptable de harcèlement dans les établissements d’enseignement.”

Translation: “Hazing is an unacceptable form of bullying in educational institutions.”

“Il faut mettre fin à l’intimidation au sein des écoles.”

Translation: “We must put an end to bullying within schools.”


Having a good grasp of how to express “bullying” in French, both formally and informally, is essential for effective communication. Remember to adapt your choice of term based on the context and level of formality. By using the appropriate terminology, you can raise awareness about this important issue and contribute to creating a safer and more respectful environment for everyone.

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