from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Verlan is a game language common in French youth language , in which the syllables are reversed. Even the term Verlan is already written in Verlan, namely it comes from the French à l'envers (vice versa). However, many words have been adopted in colloquial French, such as Beurs (for Arabes ) instead of Maghrébins .

Originally, Verlan was used by crooks to confuse the police. When the singer-songwriter Renaud was successful across the country with Laisse béton ( corruption of laisse tomber , dt. Let be well), the language became very popular, especially among young people in the Parisian suburbs .

The particular difficulty in understanding Verlan is to recognize which syllables are being twisted and, if necessary, that the original words already come from colloquial speech . Even monosyllabic words can be twisted by pronouncing them excessively and shortening them to a monosyllabic word after reversing the syllables (like mec (French type) = me-keu → keume → keum).

Another method of Verlan is as follows: You take the first and last consonants of a word, turn them around and insert an “eu”. Example: femme (woman) mf meuf.


Verlan is a spoken language, not a written language , and rarely uses official spelling. Some exceptions:

  • tromé = métro - metro
  • chébran = branché - in (at the cutting edge of fashion)
  • ouf = fou - crazy
  • teubé = bête - stupid

As a rule, the Verlan refers to the phonetics :

  • relou = lourd - annoying, penetrating
  • laisse béton = laisse tomber - let it be , forget it
  • zarbi = bizarre - strange
  • bedo = daube - grass, marijuana

Occasionally a vowel has to be inserted in order to be able to pronounce a final consonant. In this case a Schwa (written eu ) is used, e.g. B .:

  • keum = mec - type
  • meuf = femme - woman
  • keuf = flic - coll. for policeman (here usually the li disappears when turning );

In some cases the Verlan evolves from a term that already belongs to the Verlan:

  • reubeu = beur = arabe - Arabs

The consonants of the original word remain untouched, but the vowels have been changed.

Three-syllable words can also be rotated using three different methods:

  • Reverse order of syllables: Gaitupor = Portugais - Portuguese
  • Move the first syllable to the end of the word: Caillera = Racaille - Mob, Pack
  • Move the last syllable forward to the beginning: Léancu = Enculé - bastard

Verlan words as a label

  • Gotan Project , name of a Parisian music group, extended the dance term Tango
  • Stromae , name of a rapper, extension of Maestro

See also


  • Christian Bachmann, Luc Basier: Le verlan: argot d'école ou langue des Keums? In: Mots . No. 8 , 1984, pp. 169-187 ( Persée ).
  • Jean-Pierre Goudaillier: De l'argot traditionnel au français contemporain des cites . In: Linguistique . tape 38 , no. 1 , 2002, p. 5-23 ( Cairn ).
  • Vivienne Méla: Le verlan ou le langage du miroir . In: Langages . No. 101 , 1991, pp. 73-94 ( Persée ).
  • Vivienne Méla: Verlan 2000 . In: Langue Française . No. 114 , 1997, pp. 16-34 ( Persée ).
  • Angela Kundegraber: Studies on the French youth language with special consideration of the Verlan, dissertation . Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-8300-3652-4 .
  • Pierre Merle: Argot, verlan et tchatches . Milan, Toulouse 1997.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. bedo on