Learn How to Use "Un Mec" in French

When it comes to French slang, the noun mec is one of the most familiar. It plays the same role as "man," "guy," or "dude" does in English slang and can be used repeatedly everyday conversation. For instance, mec can be used to greet a close friend, to gain someone's attention, or to refer to someone you don't know by name. Although it's a masculine term, you can even use it casually to address a group of men and women in some circumstances.

Usage and Expressions

Although mec is universal French slang for a person of the masculine persuasion in France, it's not the only word doing that job. You could also use un gars or un type and mean about the same thing. Because it's everyday street language and because it has been around for decades, mec has generated a lot of variations over the years. Here are some examples of the many ways it is used in French conversation:

  • un mec, type, gars > a guy, dude, man (used as a greeting, "Hey, man!")
  • un mec bien, mec sympa, chic type > a nice guy
  • un beau mec > a good-looking guy
  • un mec canon / une fille canon > a looker
  • un beau mec, un morceau > hunk
  • Ce mec-là est très grand. > That dude is really tall.
  • Ce mec c'est une armoire à glace. > That guy is built like a tank. 
  • Ça va les mecs ? > How's it going, guys?
  • Comment ça va mec ? > Wassup, man?
  • Hé, les mecs ! > Hey, you guys!
  • un drôle de mec > a strange guy
  • un mec louche > shifty character, weird guy, sleazeball, dirty and creepy guy
  • Pauvre mec, va ! > Creep ! (très familier)
  • Ècoute, petit mec ! > Look, (you little) punk !
  • Ça, c'est un vrai mec ! (joking) > There's a real man for you !
  • son mec (au sens de "copain" or "petit ami") > her guy, her boyfriend
  • plaquer un mec / une fille / un copain / une copine > ditch a guy/ a girl / a boyfriend/ a girlfriend
  • mec, jules, homme, amant > candyman, drug dealer, pusher
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Team, ThoughtCo. "Learn How to Use "Un Mec" in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, thoughtco.com/un-mec-vocabulary-1372268. Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). Learn How to Use "Un Mec" in French. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/un-mec-vocabulary-1372268 Team, ThoughtCo. "Learn How to Use "Un Mec" in French." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/un-mec-vocabulary-1372268 (accessed June 10, 2023).