je m'en fous & je me fous de

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by haz, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. haz New Member

    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one. See also
    I don't care.

    I don't know if I have got the spelling right? Would like to know what this phrase means.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2010
  2. Starcreator Senior Member

    Canada, English, French
    Canada, English
    It's je m'en fous. And it's the equivalent of, excuse my language, "I don't give a fuck". A little harsher than "je m'en fiche", I think.
  3. haz New Member

    ok just seen another question posted on your forum and got the meaning of the phrase. what's the french phrase for "I don't care".
  4. anangelaway

    anangelaway Senior Member

    Hello Haz!

    I don't care means Je m'en fous.

    Now depending on the intonation of your voice, you could say ''J'en ai rien à foutre!!!'', which could be the équivalent of what Star has suggested.
  5. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    As starcreator mentioned, "je m'en fiche" is a milder phrase that means I don't care; or "ça m'est égal" -- it's all the same to me/I don't care.
  6. anangelaway

    anangelaway Senior Member

    Personnellement, ''je m'en fiche'' ou ''je m'en fous'' sont tous deux synonymes, et pour moi, l'un ou l'autre means ''I don't care''. They're both milder, but some parents will say that ''je m'en fous'' is not so polite, and won't mind ''je m'en fiche'', problably the second by ear sounds nicer, smoother... humm...

    Now, if someone says: Vraiment, je m'en fou comme de l'an 40!!! Or use the verb ''s'en foutre'' in this context, '' Je n'en ai absolument rien à foutre'', to me is it way more than just ''I don't care''... sweety!
  7. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    English UK
    This complicates things, ana - how about foutu ? Say the brakes on a car aren't working, would you say they were foutus politely ?
    "Ou est-ce que j'ai foutu ce machin-là." (or something like) - is that ok ? Or is it just 'je m'en fous' that is so widespread as to be unremarkable ?
  8. le chat noir

    le chat noir Senior Member

    Paris, France
    the original meaning of "foutre" is actually "to fuck".
    The only expression where it keeps this meaning is "va te faire foutre" (get fucked!), which is still quite strong an insult. However, in other contextes it has lost most of its strength.

    I would say "je m'en fous" is just colloquial, maybe the equivalent of "I don't give a damn". "m'en fous" or "rien à foutre" are just as frequent.
    "je m'en fous comme de l'an 40" is just a funny way of stressing the lack of concern or interrest. It is very widely used.

    "foutu" as an adjective usually means "ruined", "beyond all repair" or "finished" if used for a person.
    "cette caisse[voiture] est foutue" -> "this car is a pile of junk"
    "s'il me voit, je suis foutu" -> "if he notices me, I'm history"

    as a verb, "foutre" is a coarser equivalent of "faire" or "mettre" :
    "Qu'est-ce que tu fous" -> "what the hell are you doing ?"
    "fous ça dans un coin" -> "just dump it in a corner".

    "fiche" (verb) or "fichu" (adjective) are milder equivalents. "fichu" is often used, but "fiche" is very rarely spoken.
    I hardly ever heard anyone use "je m'en fiche", it's just a milder fom only used in writing.
  9. zazie Member

    USA, English
    I think that a good English equivalent for "foutre" in all these expressions is "screw." Like "foutre," "screw" has sexual origins/connotations, but in slang expressions (like "I'm screwed" or "I screwed up") it's quite mild. And like "va te faire foutre," "screw you!" is more offensive (although probably not as much as "va te faire foutre").
  10. Starcreator Senior Member

    Canada, English, French
    Canada, English
    But Je n'en ai absolument rien à foutre isn't really an application of s'en foutre - for s'en foutre one would have to say Je ne m'en ai absolument rien à foutre, n'est-ce pas?
  11. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    faut pas confondre les deux trucs ;)

    j'en ai rien à faire/secouer/foutre/battre/péter....


    je m'en fiche/fous/bats les../torche/tape/balance...

    tu vois?
  12. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    There are more direct translations in English, aren't they ?
    This car is fucked (up).
    If he notices me, I'm fucked.

    Note that, in this sense, the French tend more and more to use "niquer" (which is another direct translation for fuck).
    Ma caisse est complètement niquée. (it's completely ruined).
    Je me suis niqué le doigt (slightly different = I've hurt my finger)
    Less frequent for a person, though. ("S'il me voit, je suis niqué" wouldn't be used much). In this case, "je suis foutu" would be more likely, together with "je l'ai dans le baba" or "je l'ai dans le coucougnousse". The latter is very rare (only heard it once, actually) but sounds charming, methinks:)
  13. kathy_wylie Senior Member

    France, La Vienne, 86
    Ireland, English
    foutre means 'to f**k'?!

    but there's a little elderly lady who talks to me. she has said 'je m'en fous' to me so many times. isn't this a bit rude??
  14. le chat noir

    le chat noir Senior Member

    Paris, France
    You're right, in "j[e n]'en ai [absolument] rien à foutre", "foutre" is just a synonym of "faire" ("there is nothing I do with that", in the sense "I have no use for it").
    In "je m'en fous", the construct is literally "I f*** myself with that", although the original meaning is considerably weakened.

    One can say "je n'en ai rien à faire", although this is a bit too mild for swearing, and consequently rarely used :).
    As it has been pointed out, "foutre" has lost most of his virulence over the centuries. To be precise, as a noun it means "sperm" and as a verb it means "copulate". This meaning was used literally maybe in the 18th century, although it is still known today by every native French speaker.
    However, used in very mild swearing like "je m'en fous", the original sense does not even come to mind. Just an idiomatic expression with no implied profanity, really :).
  15. kathy_wylie Senior Member

    France, La Vienne, 86
    Ireland, English
    thanks for the clarity lechat noir
  16. alain larochelle

    alain larochelle Senior Member

    Québec, francophone
    Hi, to the best of my knowledge:
    Je m’en fiche’ is not so rare, and not very used in writing… ‘Qu’est-ce que tu fous’ can be quite mild, and just mean: qu’est-ce que tu fais, like le chat noir has already noted.

    So why do I even bother to write? Well, here’s something.
    Did everyone know that ‘je m’en fous comme de l’an 40’ comes from ‘je m’y connais (ou je m’en fous) comme de l’Al-Qoran‘?

    Here’s some other ones, from Québec probably:
    :arrow: ‘noir comme dans le cul d’un ours’ … It comes from ‘noir comme dans l’antre d’un ours’, a bear‘s den, wich became ‘le ventre d’un ours’. Then the bear digested, and now its black as in his ass…
    :arrow: And also ‘se faire enfirouaper’ means ‘se faire berner, tromper’ to be deceived (deceited?). It comes from bootleggers sticking bottles in their peltry, to sell it to the ‘Amérindiens’. The bottles where: in fur wrapped, enfirouapées…
    :arrow: (BTW amérindien is translated ameridian by other dictionaries, while WordReference only says American Indian… who should I report this to?)

    I know I have a few of these fun facts somewhere in my mind, maybe they’ll come up sometime soon.
    -Bonne journée
  17. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Passionnant, Alain, merci (je suis une mordue d'étylmologie).
    Je m'étais toujours demandé, aussi, ce que l'an 40 avait de plus inintéressant que l'an 138, par exemple.!
    En revanche, s'il te plaît, essaie de ne pas faire de hors-sujets, même (et surtout, en fait) s'ils sont dignes d'intérêt.
    S'il le faut, commence de nouveaux fils.
    Merci d'avance ! :)
    Il est dommage que nous n'ayons pas de forum "français seulement", à ce propos. Je crois que je vais suggérer à Mike d'en créer un.
  18. Ninon Member

    Bonjour, Est-ce qu'il y a une difference entre les deux phrases. Le sens de "Je m'en fous" je connais bien. "Je me fous du passé" vien de la chanson "Non, je ne regrette rien" de Piaf.

  19. foudie le rouquin Senior Member

    Seattle, Washington
    USA, English
    Je me fous is incomplete and needs to be followed by de + noun.
    Je m'en fous is complete and means "I don't give a damn about it". The en replaces the de.
  20. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    I don't give a damn about the past

    "En" is a pronoun, and should refer to the thing you don't give a damn about
  21. Ninon Member

    Oui, mais je veux savoir si "je me fous du passé" veut dire "I don't give a damn about the past" ou "I'm crazy from the past."
  22. ymc Senior Member

    it means you don't care about it.
  23. lutti New Member

    Non je ne regrette rien signifie qu'elle aurai agit de la même façon si elle aurai pu revivre sa vie.

    Oui pour moi je me fous du passé signifie la même chose que je m'en fou
  24. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
  25. Ninon Member

    Alors, c'est ça qu j'ai pensé, mais j'ai vu un traduction que dit "I'm crazy from the past."
  26. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Eh bien c'est une erreur! :(

    Ce serait dans le genre "le passé me rend/m'a rendu fou"
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008
  27. Ninon Member

    Merci tout le monde!
  28. Canard

    Canard Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    English, USA
    Est-ce qu'on ne garde pas le "en" même quand c'est précisé après, comme dans "en avoir marre de ça...", donc "je m'en fous de ta sale gueule" ?

    Merci :)
  29. foudie le rouquin Senior Member

    Seattle, Washington
    USA, English
    Je dirais que oui. C'est une expression figée car si on dit "Je me fous de ta sale gueule", ça veut dire qu'on se moque de ta sale gueule.
  30. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Could mean either 1) "I don't care about whether you're pretty/handsome or not" or 2) "I'm laughing about you".

    Once there's an adjective describing the "gueule", we tend to understand it as 1)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008
  31. korean_fabio Member

    San Francisco
    USA - English
    Hi, everyone. Merci d'avance!

    What is the difference between "je me fous de qqch" versus "je m'en fous de qqch". Is the second one even possible?

    For some background--I've been to France several times and I'm certain I've heard both. Also, more than one person has told me that if you say "je me fiche de toi," that means "I'm teasing/making fun of you". But I'm still not certain, and I'd HATE to say "je me fiche de toi" and have them interpret it as "I don't care about you" when I'm really trying to say "I'm teasing you."

    Merci d'avance!
  32. quecumber Senior Member

    Australia, English
    Yes, I'd be interested to hear the answer to this one too as I've heard them around.

    I don't think "je m'en fous de qqch" is possible because the "de qqch" has already been said with the "en".

    Also, what are the varying levels of politeness (or impoliteness) for each of
    je me fous de qqch
    je m'en fous
    je me fiche de qqn
    je m'en fiche?

  33. francais_espanol Senior Member

    Canada, English
    you could maybe use « je te taquine » to avoid any misunderstandings!
  34. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    I believe that I've heard Je me fiche de qqch, but not such a construction with foutre. " I don't give a sh-t, hang, rats ass about such and such. "
  35. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    It may be of interest to korean fabio that there exist the derivatives un je m'en foutiste which means someone who couldn't care less, an apathetic person, and the abstract noun je m'en foutisme. And welcome to the forum!
  36. StefKE

    StefKE Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    As quecumber said, je m'en fous de qqch is basically wrong (as long as something can be considered wrong in slang) because the qqch has been said in en.

    So you can say: Je me fous de faire des fautes or Faire des fautes, je m'en fous.

    Also, if I had to "rank" the different expressins from the least "impolite" one to the most impolite one, here is how it'd be:

    Je me fiche de qqn
    Je m'en fiche?
    Je me fous de qqch
    Je m'en fous

    But I have to say that je me fous de qqch doesn't sound that natural to me. I'd rather say j'en ai rien à faire/foutre/... de qqch. Here, there is also that en which is basically wrong but which is used all the same.

    As for Je me fiche de toi, it's true that it's a mid-rude mid-laughing way to mean I'm kidding you and I doesn't mean I don't care about you (which we say je m'en fous de toi or j'en ai rien à foutre de toi or je m'en fiche de toi...).

    Well, I hope this is clear enough for you to understand. I hope I've helped you anyway.
  37. Blootone

    Blootone Senior Member

    Saorstát na hÉireann
    English, Français
    "Je me fous de ta gueule" may be the expression you're thinking of, meaning "I'm taking the piss out of you".
  38. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland

    Please note it's "je m'en fous" :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008
  39. StefKE

    StefKE Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    oh, how careless I am!! :eek: Sorry!
  40. smeersmudge1

    smeersmudge1 Senior Member

    currently perched in US
    American English, Québécois French
    hello all,
    How strong is the expression, "je m'en fous?" Is it something you would teach your children to avoid saying? And instead stick with a milder "ça m'est égal?" I don't want to make a faux pas!

    Thank you!
  41. jemi Member

    il y a aussi "je m'en tape" mais je ne peux pas dire que je laisserai mes enfants le dire aussi :confused:
  42. Dr. Baha'i Senior Member

    Athens, GA
    English - U.S.
    "Je m'en fiche" means the same thing but is less crude.

    "Je m'en fous" can mean, roughly, "screw it," while "ça m'est égal" means "it's all the same/it doesn't matter to me." At least, that's how I read it.
  43. pastrygirl Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    USA English
    Would you say that the difference between "je m'en fiche" et "je m'en fous" is roughly the difference between "I don't give a damn" (ficher) and "I don't give a shit" (foutre)? I know that you wouldn't use either of them in the company of, say, your respected professor.
  44. Dr. Baha'i Senior Member

    Athens, GA
    English - U.S.
    I think you've got that about right. I don't really know if "fiche" is milder than "damn." If we're not talking about actual translation here, there are probably many other ways to express the sentiment in such a way as not to offend the teacher.
  45. Nothing-is-impossible Senior Member

    Canada, English

    What does it mean when one says: "JE M'EN FOU!!"

    merci merci :D
  46. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    It's je m'en fous.

    Meaning may vary, generally one of:

    I don't care!
    I don't give a stuff/crap/shit/hoot!
    To hell with it!
  47. LARSAY Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    I don't care is less popular language than je men fous, and I don't give a shit (or a crap) is more. One would normally translate by I don't give a damn
  48. November87 New Member

    American English
    I think "je m'en fous" is a little like "I don't give a crap" in English. It's not exactly polite, but not vulgar either.

Share This Page