What the fuck ever

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by graz71, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. graz71 Senior Member

    Paris ~ France
    ~ Le bon Françoy de France ~

    What does "what the fuck ever" mean? I found it on a writer's blog. It's supposed to be the main expression of one of the main character in a book.

    Thank you.
  2. WordRef1 Senior Member

    California, USA
    English - America
    Ah, comment traduire ? Je sais pas.
    C'est vulgaire et intense pour "whatever", peut-être : ça m'est égal, mais sarcastique.
  3. Barsac Senior Member

    region of Bordeaux
    french - français
    It means, at first approach, "Whatever". The speaker/writer seems to be angry. "the fuck" could be translated with a gros mot, such as "putain !" or "bordel !". Same sexual connotation with "fuck".
  4. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    C'est un mélange de "what the fuck?" (= que diable ?) and "whatever!" (= je m'en fiche !).
  5. Surfin' Bird Senior Member

    South West France
    Suggestion :

    Rien à branler de rien.
  6. Meille Senior Member

    Quebec, Canada
    Comment est-ce que tu utiliserais ça, Surfin' Bird? Je ne connais pas l'expression.
  7. graz71 Senior Member

    Paris ~ France
    ~ Le bon Françoy de France ~
    Ah merci de ta suggestion Surfin' Bird, c'est vraiment pas mal et ça colle bien avec la vulgarité comme le suggère WordRef1, nuance que je n'avais pas saisie.

    D'ailleurs, quelqu'un saurait-il vers quel site m'orienter pour trouver les traductions du slang anglais et américain de ce style ?
  8. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  9. Surfin' Bird Senior Member

    South West France
    Tel que c'est présenté ici, ça s'utiliserait plutôt tout seul, comme une sorte de slogan.

    Sinon, il est toujours possible de dire, par exemple, "ce mec (n')en a rien à branler de rien". (This guys doesn't give a shit about anything.)

    Par contre si "what the fuck ever" se trouve au milieu d'une phrase - et je serais bien curieux de savoir laquelle -, il faudra probablement envisager une autre traduction.
  10. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I'm imagining a really angry version of bof, myself. Is that approximately what you're describing, Surfin' Bird?
  11. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    I didn't understand the phrase at first, but it is common to intensify an expression by inserting the word "fuck." (I'm not used to having "the fuck" used).

    N.B., as noted by others, it is extremely informal; in the the wrong context it could be viewed as extremely vulgar or offensive. But here are some examples:

    Un-fucking-believable (Unbelievable)
    Abso-fucking-lutely (Absolutely)

    I think this usage is a bit dated.

    It's a little bit similar to the way the French sometimes express emphasis by stressing each syllable of a word: For - mi - da -ble! But much more vulgar. :)
  12. cajoca Member

    Ô zay-tahz
    I could be wrong here but I think that in English there is a lot of leeway for the construction of obscenities. We add gros mots to normal phrases to intensify the meaning and sometimes it catches on (the word clusterfuck and shitshow come immediately to mind).

    This is probably a dumb thing to add because obviously the French don't use the word "fuck" but if I were speaking Frenglish to one of my French speaking American friends I might say something like n'importe-a-fucking-quoi. See how it works? It can really go anywhere.

    @polaire - I don't think un-fucking-believable really dated
  13. Meille Senior Member

    Quebec, Canada
    Merci Surf.

    Je n'arrive pas plus près du milieu d'une phrase que: "So what the fuck ever happened to Bob?" mais c'est quand même vraie que ça ne veut plus dire la même chose. Ce n'est plus "who cares?" mais "I'm curious".
  14. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    Good. The last time I used it (a couple of weeks ago), on a website where people use curse words all the time, I was afraid that it sounded musty. :)

    Note to other readers: In the right context, these constructions are fun to use, but a little goes a long way.:)

    A web expression that is still pretty common is "WTF"? (What The Fuck?).

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