bolosse / bolos


Senior Member
Moderator Note: several threads have been merged to create this one.

Hi everyone, I have a question about a slang term that I've just learned recently and seems new to me.
The word is "bolosse" (not sure if that is the correct spelling, if there is one).
I don't have a context for the word, except for the one in which I learned it, so I will try to explain it to you and hopefully it will help.

I live in Paris, and I was asking some French people (university students, to give an age-range), how they would describe someone who blasts music from their phone on the métro, and dresses poorly and possibly thug-like. I'm always looking to learn new slang, which is why I was asking, and I asked them if they would use the term "bof" or "caillera" to describe them. They told me that they would call them "bolosse".
When I looked it up on the internet though, I found several different meanings, and when I asked a French friend from Marseille he said he had never heard it.

So I'm wondering if anyone can help me figure out what it means, where it comes from, and where and how it's used? Is there any possible relation to the Argentine slang word "boludo" which means "slacker"?

Thank you for your help! I am fascinated by French slang (both national and regional) so I really appreciate your help!
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  • Mel0die

    French - France
    I had never heard this word before... From what I read on the Internet, I understand that it is a recent word, mostly used by teenagers or the young from underprivileged suburban areas.
    The spelling seems to be "bolos".

    Here are the most relevant definitions I found:

    Two different meanings are explained:
    - weak person, scapegoat
    - someone who is out-of-date

    Hope this can help


    Hum... French slang is very complicated...

    I know this word, that I Would write "bolosse", and I use it sometimes. We apply this word to a lot of situation, as many rude words by the way. Generally, I'm talking about guys who are ridiculous, or idiots, or both ^^ !

    I could totally use it about the guy you saw in the metro. But, don't fix the meaning of this word to one type of situation, because you'll find it used differently according to the type of people you're talking with.

    It's used by young people, i would say... about 15-25 years old, and when you talk with friends. It's not very elegant, so take clear from say it with adults, or at job...

    I hope I helped you ;)


    Senior Member
    Well, I am 23, so I guess I am still in the clear to use it with other university students!! But thank you everyone for all of your help. I think this is so interesting, and I am glad I have a better understanding of what it means, and I'll be careful about using it! :)


    Hi there,

    How can we translate in english "Bolos"? For instance in this phrase Un mec qui sait pas faire un plat c’est carrément un bolosse !

    Thank you in advance


    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    French (lower Normandy)
    I think it should be spelt "bolos" even if it is pronounced "bolosse".
    Here I would say:
    "What a jerk!"
    "What a moron!"

    (Here, in French, we could also say: "Quel blaireau / Quel bouffon / Quel naze ...")


    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    "loser" and "inbetweener" are the terms that would fit.

    I first thought it came from 'boss' used in a negative way - you actually fail to be the boss and make a fool of yourself. I may be wrong.
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    statv cuet

    New Member
    English - South-east England
    Hi all, in the south east of england we use the word "mug" a lot to indicate a loser or fool in any particular situation, which I think is probably the closest translation, and also the expression to be "mugged off" (to be played like a fool or treated like one) is very very similar to the verb bolosser, i.e "t'arretes d't'habiller comme un blaireau tu vas t'faire bollosser grave" "stop dressing like a scumbag you're gonna get mugged off well bad".
    Hope this helps


    Could anyone please explain what a "bolos" is?
    I think the word "bolos" is about to enter the dictionaries.
    Thank you for your time.

    It was a journalist trying to find out if passer-byes knew the meaning of some French neologisms...

    ...Vous voulez savoir pourquoi un « bolos » qui se fait prendre avec de la « beuh » risque de « partir en cacahuète » surtout s’il est « tendu comme un string » ? La réponse, elle sera dans les nouveaux dictionnaires qui sortent dans quelques jours. En attendant : un peu de décryptage de rue. Un « bolos », c’est quoi ?....

    Moderator Note: consecutive posts merged.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    French (lower Normandy)
    Here is almost all you need to know about bolos in this previous thread:

    [link deleted, threads merged]

    And more if you simply google "bolos" ;)
    (France) (Par extension) (Familier) ou (Vulgaire) Injure à la mode, en particulier chez les jeunes, synonyme de « gros nul, ringard, bouffon, pigeon, victime ».
    Vas-y t’as vu ta gueule, gros bolos ?

    Another source here:

    And SwissPete, for the context ;)
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    Dans le film "Swagger", le garcon Régis dit, "Je vais pas faire mon bolos aussi." Je vois ci-dessus le sens d'un bolos, mais est-ce que quelqu'un peut m'expliquer "faire mon bolos"? Merci d'avance.


    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    French (lower Normandy)
    Bonsoir mmesorel,

    Ce n'est pas facile à expliquer, mais "faire son/le + nom" est une expression qui veut dire "agir comme + nom".
    Voici d'autres à ce sujet :
    faire son Calimero = agir comme Calimero
    Faire son gentil garçon = agir comme un gentil garçon
    faire son beau

    "son" s'accorde avec le sujet.
    Donc, on aura
    "tu fais ton boloss"
    "je fais mon boloss"

    Est-ce plus clair ? :)
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