Why do French use verlan?

Why do French use verlan?

The word verlan itself is a great example of verlan because it is à l’envers (which means reverse) backward. Verlan began as a way for people to speak French in code to mask communication, either during wars or revolutions when secrecy was vital.

How do you go from regular French to verlan?

Reuf (le frère – brother) Like in many languages, greeting a male friend with ‘frère’ is common in France. To do it verlan style, you do slightly more than just reversing the syllables. In this example the second r is removed so it remains a single-syllable word.

Why was verlan invented?

Verlan was invented as a secret language, a way for people (notably youths, drug users, and criminals) to communicate freely in front of authority figures (parents, police).

What is nickel slang for in French?

Nickel. When something’s great it isn’t just good, it’s nickel! The slang meaning originates from nickel being shiny metal and therefore insinuating something’s very clean or brilliant. I know, language evolves in strange ways. It’s now used in colloquial French to refer to something that’s très bien!

When was verlan first used?

19th century

Do people use verlan?

While it might sound like fun to do it, it just never sounds right and really should be left to the locals. (Think of about when French people use the F-word too much.) “Verlan is still a French thing, some young people use it but not every young French person does.

What is KEUF?

Translation of “keuf” in English. Noun. cop. pig.

How do you speak in secret languages?


  1. Substitute each letter for another letter. Decide which letters in the regular alphabet will be swapped out for new letters in your alphabet.
  2. Swap the vowels of the alphabet (A, E, I, O, U).
  3. Practice speaking and writing your new language.
  4. Decide how to share the language with friends.