Hey, Dude, You're a 'Mec' in French

'Mec' is standard street language for 'guy, dude,' the 'man' in 'Hey, man'

The very familiar French noun mec, pronounced "mek," means "guy, dude, man" (in exclamations), "bloke" (in the UK). It's one of those terms at the top of the heap of French argot (slang), a term that every French person has probably used; men and boys, in fact, may use it every day.

Mec is, indeed, universal French slang for a person of the masculine persuasion in France, but it's not the only word doing that job.

You could also say 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 that are also frequently used.

'Mec': Usage and Expressions

Here are some examples of the many ways that mec is used today:

un mec, type, gars > a guy, dude, man (in exclamations like 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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ThoughtCo. "Hey, Dude, You're a 'Mec' in French." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, thoughtco.com/un-mec-vocabulary-1372268. ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). Hey, Dude, You're a 'Mec' in French. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/un-mec-vocabulary-1372268 ThoughtCo. "Hey, Dude, You're a 'Mec' in French." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/un-mec-vocabulary-1372268 (accessed March 17, 2018).