Quebecois Swear Words that Confuse the French

| © Lorne Chapman / Alamy Stock Photo

Quebecois French is a colourful language that is very distinct from the French spoken in Europe – including its swear words. Many profanities in Quebecois are known as sacres, referring to words and phrases that are related to the Catholic Church. For people from France, most of these expressions would have no particular profanity associated with them, but in Quebec French, they are considered to be vulgar. Here are some Quebecois swear words and expressions that might confuse people from France or other French-speaking countries.

Loved by over 40s

Did you know you can now travel with Culture Trip? Book now and join one of our premium small-group tours to discover the world like never before.

Tabarnak, Câlice, Baptême

Directly translating as tabernacle, chalice, and baptism, these are three of the most common sacres that can be heard in Quebecois. Tabarnak is considered to be the most profane. In its full glory, you might hear something like: “Osti de tabarnak de sacrament, de câlice de ciboire de criss de marde!” The expressions can take on different spellings, and are often pronounced slightly differently from the official words. All of them have the approximate weight of “fuck” in English.


Like the words above, sacrament connects to Catholicism and can be roughly translated as “goddammit!”

Ostie de colon

Again drawing on liturgical terms, ostie de colon is generally used to refer to someone as an idiot.

On s’en coliss

Coliss is a variation on the above-mentioned câlice, and the expression can be translated as “we don’t care.” Another spelling variation is “calisse.”


Guidoune is an informal and offensive word referring to a promiscuous woman. Another word with a similar word is pitoune.


Something that is niaiseux is stupid, whether it’s a person, an object, an idea, or a situation. T’es donc ben niaiseux means “you’re really stupid,” or in a lighter tone it can mean something more like “silly.” The feminine form is niaiseuse.

Donner un char de marde

The literal translation of this phrase is “ to give a car of shit.” The English equivalent would be “to give someone shit,” an argumentative sense.


A slightly milder expression on the sliding scale of Quebecois profanities, vidange means garbage. Tu es une vidange means “you’re garbage” or “you’re trash,” which gets contracted to T’es une vidange, or can be rendered more offensively as T’es une osti de vidange, adding in a well-placed sacre.

Mais pourquoi diable me fait ça?

This can be interpreted as “why the hell did you do that?”

J’ai le feu au cul

Meaning “I’m pissed” or “I’m mad,” more literally this means “I have fire in my ass.”


Get out! This has the weight of “get the hell out” or “get the fuck out.”

Looking for travel inspiration for your next getaway? Browse our collections of Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips to explore the world with the help of our Local Insiders.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.