In French, Ever Hear of a 'Pépère'? Here's What It Means

'Pépère' the noun is a child's name for grandpa; 'gros pépère' is a cute child

Grandfather chasing grandson
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Pépère, pronounced pay pehr, exists as both a noun and as an adjective with distinct, but related meanings. In all its meanings and usages, it is an informal term. Examples of use and some expressions are included in each section.

'Pépère': Noun

Pépère's perhaps most frequent use is akin to baby talk—the affectionate name small children give to their grandfather: grandad or grandpa, gramps, as in:

  • Salut pépère ! > Hi grandad!

Pépère said by an adult can refer to:

  1. a man or boy who is fat and calm (un homme ou garçon gros et calme), as many grandfathers are 
  2. or (pejoratively) an old-timer  

Pépé or grand-père: What a young child calls an old grandfather (un vieux pépère), as in:

  • Pépé, donne-moi mes jeux, s'il te plaît. > Grandpa, give me mes toys please. 

'Gros Pépère': Noun

An informal expression for a cute child or a cute animal baby, as in:

Tiens, le gros pépère ! > Look at the cute little baby!

When referring to a man, it means:

  1. tubby (with affection)
  2. fat slob (with derision)

'Pépère': Adjective

When referring to an adult man, it means:

  • quiet, calm, peaceful, nice and easy (as many grandfathers are) 

When it refers to a thing, such a job or a life:

  • quiet, easy, uneventful, cushy

Un petit boulot pépère > a cushy little job

Quel boulot pépère ! > What a cushy job!

Une petite vie pépère > a cozy little life

 On ne veut qu'une vie pépère. > All we want is a quiet life.

Faire en Pépère: Verb 

agir tranquillement > to act calmly (as many grandfathers do)