We all know that so many things are better when French, as the old commercial points out :
As sex-ified as that commercial is, it certainly expresses the French emphasis on l’amour. But what about the modern French version of romance? Are the French just as cheesy as Americans can be when it comes to love? To be honest, the percentage of guys who would drop a pickup line in all sincerity is probably a lot lower in France than in the US. The stereotypical Frenchman wearing the beret and holding a baguette is probably not among them.
If you do repeat one of these lines to the next chick you meet in a café or night club, she may roll her eyes and utter “blaireau” under her breath, a pretty derogatory slang term for someone not classy, smothered in hair gel, and trying way too hard in his skin tight T-shirt. That’s about as close as you’ll get.
While it’s common to hear ridiculous pick-up lines in American comedies and romance flicks alike, such as the classic, “Is that a mirror in your pocket? Because I can see myself in your pants,” from A Night at the Roxbury, pickup lines are not so much a part of French humor or social life…that is unless you roll on 24 inch rims with a crowd of straight-up Pastis sipping French guys—the kind who if they lived in the US they would be Jaeger-bombing spray tanned guys, and yes this type does exist outside of Jersey Shore. This breed of Frenchman has his own vernacular.
1. Est-ce que ton père a été un voleur? Parce qu’il a volé les étoiles du ciel pour les mettre dans tes yeux.
Is your dad a thief? Because he stole the stars from the heavens to put them in your eyes.
2. Tu n’as pas eu mal quand tu es tombé du ciel?
You aren’t hurt from when you fell from heaven?
3. Excuse-moi, j’ai perdu mon numero de telephone. Est-ce que je peux emprunter le tien?
Excuse me, I lost my phone number. Can I borrow yours?
4. Ton père il vend pas des fusils? Parce que t’es trop canon.
Your father doesn’t sell guns? Because you’re really a bombshell.
…And last but not least my all time favorite:
5. Puis-je t’appeler biscotte? Non? Parce que je te trouve craquante.
Can I call you « biscotte » (a really crunchy biscuit)? No? Because I find you irresistible [craquante means both crunchy and an adjective meaning someone you could fall for easily].
And although some of them translate oddly, take a look at some of the Fresh Prince’s one liners translated into French (and Italian too, but that’s for a later post). Which one will you use on your next trip to Paris?